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SK Bioscience-AstraZeneca deal to expire by the end of this year

SK Bioscience’s vaccine manufacturing plant in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province (SK Bioscience)
SK Bioscience’s vaccine manufacturing plant in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province (SK Bioscience)

SK Bioscience’s contract manufacturing deal to produce AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine will expire by the end of this year, according to the company Thursday.

The deal greatly helped South Korea secure shots in its early vaccination stage, but as the government has decided to phase out the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, there is no need for the firm to continue producing it, the firm said.

As for international supplies, however, the firm remains in talks with AstraZeneca, the firm said.

SK Bioscience first inked a deal with AstraZeneca in July last year for vaccines for consumption both here and abroad. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been produced and shipped from the SK Bioscience factory in Andong, North Gyeongsang Province, since then.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved for use in South Korea.

A total of some 11 million people in South Korea received the AstraZeneca vaccine since the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety granted approval in February this year.


By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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