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Moderna to begin delivering COVID-19 vaccine to S. Korea in May

Science 11:48 January 01, 2021

SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) -- U.S. biotech company Moderna has said it will begin delivering its coronavirus vaccine to South Korea in May.

The company made the announcement Thursday (U.S. time) while confirming an agreement struck with South Korea's government to provide 40 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

"Under the terms of the proposed agreement, deliveries would begin in May 2021," the company said in a statement. "The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is not currently approved for use in South Korea, and the company will work with regulators to pursue the necessary approvals prior to distribution."

Following the deal, the total amount of COVID-19 vaccines South Korea has secured is enough to inoculate 56 million people, more than enough to cover the country's population of 52 million, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The official contract was closed three days after President Moon Jae-in and Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel reached an agreement via videoconference Monday.

The amount is double the quantity the government had initially sought to secure from the American biotech firm through negotiations, and the provision date has also been moved up from the earlier expected third quarter.

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