SEOUL, Nov. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea on Friday signed a deal with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. to buy 30 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to be administered next year, bringing the total amount to 120 million, health authorities here said.
The deal has an option for an additional 30 million doses, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA). In August, the two sides signed a separate contract for 30 million doses and an option for 30 million doses.
The deals are part of South Korea’s plan to secure enough vaccine doses to cover the first shots of the country’s 52 million people next year, the KDCA said.
So far, the Seoul government has inked a vaccine deal for next year with Pfizer only.
The government has earmarked to spend 2.6 trillion won (US$2.19 billion) next year to secure 80 million doses of imported vaccines and 10 million domestically made vaccines.
In June, the country began preparations to secure more vaccines for next year as the COVID-19 pandemic here is expected to continue even after achieving much-awaited herd immunity.
Since the country launched its vaccination program in late February, 76.1 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated and 80.6 percent received their first shots.