Over 50% of South Koreans Support Using Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine in Country: Poll

Over 51 percent of South Korean nationals support the use of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 in the country amid reports that the government is studying data on this vaccine, according to a survey published by South Korean pollster Realmeter, Sputnik News reports.

The poll revealed that 51.1 percent of nationals believe it is necessary to add the Russian vaccine to the country’s immunization campaign, while 38.3 percent of respondents do not think so. At the same time, only 14.2 percent of respondents said that it was “extremely necessary” to import Sputnik V. Some 36.9 percent believe that its use is necessary “to a certain extent”, while as many as 21.1 percent feel that South Korea does not need the Russian vaccine “at all”. Some 10 percent were uncertain about their attitude to the issue.

The survey was conducted on 23 April among 500 people over 18 years old via phone interviews.

South Korea is expected to receive a total of 192 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines in 2021, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen, and Novavax. This amount should be enough to vaccinate 99 million people, which is almost twice the population of the country.

On 22 April, reports emerged that the South Korean Foreign Ministry told its diplomatic missions in a dozen foreign countries to collect information on the safety of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine at the request of the nation’s drug regulator. Seoul is seeking to get detailed data and monitor the approval process of Sputnik V in foreign countries and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

South Korea is at the forefront among foreign vaccine production partners of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund that is behind Sputnik V exports, as two consortiums — one led by biotech companies GL Rapha and ISU ABXIS and another by pharmaceutical company Huons Global — have already inked deals with the RDIF on technology transfer and production of the vaccine.

All vaccines produced by both groups in South Korea will be exported abroad, while the Asian country itself does not use Sputnik V.