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Pfizer expected to apply for vaccine approval in S. Korea; AstraZeneca awaiting approval Updated: 2021-01-22 04:26:21 KST

Pfizer is expected to submit an application to South Korea's drug safety agency for approval of its COVID-19 vaccine.
While a final date has not been set, yet, industry sources say that the drug maker partnered with Germany's BioNTech.. will apply before the end of January.
If a final approval is granted, it would be the country's first batch of vaccines to be rolled out.

Pfizer, however, is not the only drug maker seeking approval as AstraZeneca is also waiting for the green light.
On the 31st of this month, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety will convene a meeting with a panel of experts to review the clinical trials of the British-made vaccine.
The results of the meeting will be announced the following day on February 1st.

If it is agreed that the vaccine is safe and effectivea separate committee will then be held to decide whether to grant approval for use.
This would leave AstraZeneca with its final approval stage before distribution can begin.

Meanwhile, South Korea is working to speed up its vaccination schedule set to begin next month.
According to the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, it's likely that vaccines will be available before the Lunar New Year holiday.
For a quick rollout, the government plans to set up 250 inoculation centers nationwide.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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