South Korea approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

South Korea granted emergency use approval for Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine produced by South Korean drugmaker Samsung BioLogics, the health ministry said on Tuesday.

Moderna has agreed to distribute 2.44 million doses of the shots produced by Samsung to South Korea after Samsung's COVID-19 vaccine facility on Monday obtained Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification from the drug safety ministry.

Samsung entered into a "fill and finish" deal with Moderna in May. This type of contract involves putting vaccines into vials or syringes, sealing them and packaging them up for shipping, but not making the vaccine itself.

The plant has yet to win approval from the U.S. and European regulators to have the shots shipped outside the country, Samsung said.

In May, US President Joe Biden said he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in had agreed on a comprehensive partnership on COVID-19 vaccines.

South Korea said the Moderna shots produced by Samsung will be widely used in the current quarter, including as booster shots for high-risk people.

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