Korea approves Moderna vaccine for Covid-19
Korea approved the Moderna coronavirus vaccine Friday as it tried to ramp up inoculations with a presidential summit in Washington.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said it found Moderna’s vaccine to be 94.1 percent effective against Covid-19 infections and authorized it for people 18 and older.
The U.S. drug maker’s vaccine, based on messenger RNA, is the fourth Covid-19 vaccine to be approved after AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Janssen.
GC Pharma will be responsible for distribution and sales of the Moderna vaccine in Korea.
The permission came at a moment when Moderna is considering manufacturing vaccines in Asian countries through contract manufacturing.
For Korea, Samsung Biologics is considered the most likely candidate to make the Moderna vaccine. The two companies are already in talks, according to multiple media reports.
Samsung Biologics CEO John Rim is on delegation accompanying Korean President Moon Jae-in to a summit with U.S. President Joe Biden, raising the possibility of a deal being discussed to manufacture Moderna’s vaccine in Korea.
In the meantime, the regulatory agency began an assessment process to see if Pfizer’s vaccine could be given to kids between the ages of 12 and 15.
Currently, Pfizer shots are authorized for people over 16. The latest clinical trials proved their safety in the younger age group, prompting U.S. authorities to approve vaccinations for them earlier this week.
BY PARK EUN-JEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]