The Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday that South Korea will donate the AstraZeneca COvid-19 vaccine to Thailand and Vietnam because it has sufficient doses to help other countries.
According to Yonhap News Agency, South Korea will ship 1.1 Million doses of AstraZeneca to Vietnam and 470,000 to Thailand later in today. The vaccines will arrive in both countries on Wednesday.
This is the first time South Korea has donated Covid-19 vaccines directly to foreign countries, other than financial support through COVAX.
During a meeting in New York last month with President Moon Jaein, Moon Jae-in stated that Seoul would donate at least 1,000,000 doses of vaccines to the Southeast Asian country.
According to the Ministry, it donated the vaccine to key trading partners in the region in order to protect Korean citizens living in those countries as well as local residents. The country’s majority of its population had been inoculated.
The Ministry released a statement saying that the government had decided to donate vaccines so inoculations could proceed without delay with current stockpiles.
“The selection of the countries was based on their requests, safety of Korean citizens living in the countries, foreign policy, and the Covid-19 situation. As of Tuesday, approximately 40 million people (or 77.9 percent) had received their first doses of Covid-19 vaccines, and 60% of them were fully vaccinated.
After taking into account the country’s vaccination rate and vaccine supply, the Ministry stated that it would consider additional support for countries in need.