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South Korea’s Fix for Covid-19 Vaccine Shortages, Ask U.S. for a Swap

South Korea is facing a vaccine shortage and is not seeking to alleviate the issue. South Korea has delayed its rollout of Covid-19 vaccines and is now looking to swap with the US, which currently boasts one of the world’s biggest vaccine supplies. During a visit to the White House set to occur today, South Korea is expected to inquire about an exchange of millions of doses on a one-for-one basis. South Korea’s population is only 3% fully vaccinated as of right now, however, officials are looking to elevate this figure.

Nearly 90% of the world’s Covid-19 vaccines to date have been administered in wealthy countries, according to research conducted by the International Rescue Committee. Production setbacks in India and by Pfizer in Europe have hindered plans to distribute doses in poorer countries. Affluent countries such as South Korea have also faced shortages. Canada preordered five times the vaccine needed for its population but has only fully vaccinated roughly 4% of its people. In the UK, 30% of the population is fully vaccinated while 37% are vaccinated against the virus in the US.

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