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Korea seeks to secure COVID-19 vaccines for 30 million citizens

Under a COVID-19 vaccine plan, the Korean government will aim to provide vaccines for 30 million people or approximately 60% of the population. The government estimates that two vaccines per person will be needed to acquire immunity against COVID-19.

“The initial target of inoculating 60 percent of the population is to create herd immunity in the country that can reduce public fears about the coronavirus,” said Lim In-taek, Head of the Health Industry Policy Division at the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Korea aims to procure vaccines for 10 million people through the COVAX Facility. Coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, CEPI (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and the World Health Organization, COVAX provides the opportunity for participating countries to pool their money and invest in a large portfolio of COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The government anticipates it will be easy to source the remaining 20 million vaccines from the private sector. For example, the government is currently supporting three local companies conducting clinical trials and SK BioScience has already signed contracts to secure materials to manufacture vaccines.

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The Australia-Korea Business Council is the leading national body committed to strengthening the Australia-Korea economic relationship.