South Korea Approves First Homemade COVID-19 Vaccine

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Seoul: South Korea on Wednesday approved the country’s first domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine for people 18 years or older.

Around 4,000 participants in South Korea and five other countries took part in the clinical trials. During the trials, SK Bioscience’s two-dose SKYCovione vaccine appeared to be more effective than the broadly used AstraZeneca shots in building immunity against infections, officials at South Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry said.

However, it was not immediately clear how officials will administer the newly developed vaccine or how big of a role the shots will have in the next phase of the pandemic.

The shots were designed for the original version of the coronavirus, not the more transmissible omicron variant that wreaked havoc in the country earlier this year.

“The approval (of SKYCovione) internationally confirms the abilities of our companies to develop COVID-19 vaccines,” Food and Drug Safety Minister Oh Yu-kyoung said in a briefing. She said SK Bioscience is seeking an approval from the World Health Organization for its shots, which would potentially open export opportunities.

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