South Korea's COVID-19 vaccination plan is starting to pick up steam.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun announced Friday during a Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters meeting, that the government has secured enough AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX facility to inoculate some 1 million 50 thousand people.
The COVAX facility is the global initiative to ensure an equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines worldwide.
Under this program, doses for around 350-thousand people will be delivered to South Korea in March, with additional doses for 700- thousand set to arrive through April and May.
The Prime Minister also said on Friday that the government plans to do its best to speed up the vaccine rollout.
"Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency should reschedule so that as many as possible can get inoculated within the first half of the year. Also, the government will continue to do its best to confirm vaccine arrivals ahead of schedule."
This comes as South Korea gave more than 67-thousand people their first shot of the vaccine on Thursday, bringing the total number to 220-thousand.
Meanwhile, the full approval for Pfizer vaccines appears to be imminent.
South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is set to announce at 2 PM on Friday whether they will approve the nationwide use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines.
It's likely that the ministry will give the greenlight as Pfizer's vaccine has already undergone multiple stages of assessment by expert panels and pharmacists who have rigorously reviewed its safety and efficacy.
The vaccine could even be approved for high school students as its effectiveness has been proven for people aged 16 and up.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News