South Korea aims to secure COVID-19 vaccines for 30-million people, 60 percent of the total population.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday said the government is working on two tracks to secure the supply purchasing vaccines produced outside the country, while supporting domestic research.
"We want to secure enough vaccines for everyone. But there's limitation on investment as the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and also the success and failure of it are all very uncertain."
Sixty percent the initial target of inoculation is based on the minimum rate of herd immunity that needs to be created, enough to reduce public fear over the pandemic.
For the first batch, the government will acquire vaccines for 10-million people from the COVAX Facility a global vaccine alliance under the World Health Organization, and 20-million more from private firms overseas.
A further 20-million for the rest of the population will be supplied through local pharmaceutical companies based on the demand and progress made.
To get the vaccines from the COVAX Facility, Seoul will turn in the legal documents of confirmation by Friday.
An upfront payment of 146 million U.S. dollars will be made by October ninth to join the facility and secure shipments from overseas pharmaceutical firms such as AstraZeneca, Novavax, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.
As the types of vaccines vary, deals will be made separatelybased on the vaccines' safety, effectiveness, price and when they can be made available for use.
For phase two, the government will extensively support local firms to facilitate developments.
Currently, local biotech company SK Bioscience has been working with foreign manufactures to produce vaccines that will help meet local needs.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.