South Korea to roll out Novavax COVID-19 vaccine next week

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea will start out providing Novavax Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine at hospitals, nursing households and general public health and fitness centers future week, officers mentioned, incorporating a different resource to fight a quick-producing omicron surge.

The place reported a record 54,122 new coronavirus situations on Thursday, in accordance to the Korea Illness Command and Prevention Company, a 12-fold boost from day by day amounts viewed in mid-January, when omicron initial grew to become the country’s dominant pressure.

But officers are expressing cautious hope that the country’s large vaccination charge will stop an explosion in major illnesses and fatalities. As of Thursday, 86% of South Koreans were absolutely vaccinated and 56% had gained booster pictures underneath a mass immunization application that has been primarily dependent on Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines.

Novavax’s protein vaccine, which is equivalent to photographs applied for decades from illnesses these kinds of as the frequent flu and hepatitis B, could appeal to men and women who are hesitant to use other COVID-19 vaccines built with more recent technologies, KDCA formal Lim Sook-youthful mentioned.

The pictures are created by the Maryland company’s South Korean associate, SK Bioscience, which has been contracted to manufacture 40 million doses, all of which will be employed regionally. Lim explained SK delivered 551,000 doses on Thursday and will deliver a further 294,000 doses on Friday.

“We strategy to actively use the (Novavax) pictures on unvaccinated folks 18 yrs or more mature, primarily high-danger teams such as hospitalized clients, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities who are at bigger chance of major sickness and dying,” Lim said throughout a briefing.

South Korea has drastically eased quarantine restrictions and reshaped its COVID-19 response about at-dwelling treatments and quick antigen tests as it struggles to offer with an unprecedented wave of bacterial infections fueled by the fast-moving omicron variant.

The KDCA reported 282 individuals were being in severe or significant ailment as of Thursday, but the Well being Ministry stated a lot less than 20% of the country’s intensive care models specified for COVID-19 treatment method were occupied. Nevertheless, industry experts say the country’s surging caseload is possible to drive up hospitalizations in coming months.