Korea approves first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine

SEOUL, South Korea – Health officials in South Korea on Wednesday approved the first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 and older, adding a medical tool other public health in the fight against the protracted pandemic.

In clinical trials with approximately 4,000 participants in South Korea and five other countries, SK Bioscience’s two-dose SKYCovione vaccine appeared to be more effective than the widely used AstraZeneca injections in building potency immunity against infection, officials at South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said.

It remains unclear how officials will administer the newly developed vaccine or what role these shots will play in the next phase of the pandemic. The photos are designed for the original version of the coronavirus, not the more contagious omicron variant that devastated the country earlier this year. US vaccine giants Pfizer and Moderna have accelerated the development of booster shots that target omicrons, and experts say there is a chance the virus could re-emerge in the coming months. .

Read more: An FDA Panel Decides It’s Time for a New COVID-19 Booster

The Korean mass vaccination campaign is largely dependent on the mRNA injections of Pfizer and Moderna. But officials say protein vaccines like SKYCovione, similar to those used for years against the common flu and hepatitis B, could appeal to those hesitant to use the vaccine. Please be developed by newer technology.

“The international approval (by SKYCovione) confirms our companies’ ability to develop a COVID-19 vaccine,” Food and Drug Safety Minister Oh Yu-kyoung said in a press conference. meeting. She said SK Bioscience is seeking World Health Organization approval for its injections, which could potentially open up export opportunities.

South Korea has eased most of its virus restrictions after battling an omicron surge earlier this year, but some experts say the country could see an increase in other infections despite despite high vaccination rates due to weakened immunity and the emergence of new variants.

Read more: What to know about the newest, most infectious Omicron subspecies

The country reported 10,463 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, its first daily increase per 10,000 cases in 20 days. Health Ministry official Son Youngrae said in a separate meeting it was too early to say whether the country was facing another surge after a multi-month downtrend.

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