Drug safety minister Kim Gang-lip told a news conference that South Korea on Friday approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, as the country attempts to accelerate up its inoculation efforts.
The green light comes after two of three expert panels recommended approval be provided for the two-dose vaccine based on safety and efficacy in late-stage trials in the United States.
Moderna is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in South Korea, following doses developed by AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson, said Kim.
Moderna has a deal with South Korea to supply 40 million doses of its vaccine, although the shipment timeline is yet to be announced.
Seoul has ordered up to 192 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, including those made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson.
South Korea’s vaccination campaign has been hampered by global shortages and shipment delays. It has provided doses to just over 7% of its 52 million residents so far, as it aims to inoculate at least 13 million by June and reach herd immunity by November.