Photo: Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine produced by SK Bioscience. Credit: Website of the Office of the President.
In another major event of Moon Jae-in 문재인’s US tour, Samsung Biologics 삼성바이오로직스 entered into an agreement with Moderna to produce the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in South Korea, while SK Bioscience SK바이오사이언스 signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Novavax to cooperate in the development of new vaccines against COVID-19 variants and other infectious diseases.
Although South Korea is one of six countries in the world - along with US, EU, China, India and Russia - that produces and exports COVID-19 vaccines, the relentless fake news campaign casting doubt on Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the main type of vaccine that South Korea produces (through SK Bioscience’s facility in Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province 경상북도 안동) has depressed South Korean public’s willingness to be vaccinated. (See previous coverage, “Vaccine Politics.”) With a diversified lineup of domestically produced vaccines, South Korea could improve its vaccination rate while opening more avenues for export.