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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine gets final nod in S. Korea

All News 14:36 May 21, 2021

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- A panel of medical experts on Friday said the vaccine for the novel coronavirus developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. showed enough efficacy and safety, and recommended the use of the product.

In the previous two rounds of review on Moderna's two full-dose regimen, the panel already concluded that the product is eligible for all adults.

The Moderna vaccine, finally approved by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, marks the country's fourth COVID-19 vaccine, following the ones by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson.

Officials of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety hold a meeting on May 21, 2021, to decide on the approval of the vaccine for the novel coronavirus developed by U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. (Yonhap)

The ministry said Moderna's two full-dose regimen showed efficacy among all adults. The panel reviewed Moderna's clinical trials on 28,207 participants

The data showed that the vaccine had a 94.1 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19 and more than 86 percent in those regardless of age or underlying diseases.

The Seoul government has signed a contract with Moderna to bring in vaccines for 20 million people with some of the bottles scheduled to arrive before June.

Speculation has been running high that Samsung Biologics, a biopharmaceutical unit of South Korea's top conglomerate, Samsung Group, may begin manufacturing Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines here in August at the earliest.

A slew of local newspapers have reported that Samsung Biologics is close to signing a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) contract to manufacture the U.S. drug firm's mRNA vaccine against the novel coronavirus at plants in Songdo, around 50 km southwest of Seoul.

khj@yna.co.kr
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