South Korea plans to dispose of roughly one-seventh of its 7-million-dose smallpox vaccine stock after deeming the material unsuitable to administer in the event of a North Korean strike involving the virus, the Chosun Ilbo reported on Wednesday (see GSN, May 27).
A half-dozen guinea pigs perished after receiving shots from the affected supply, the Korea Food and Drug Administration said in findings obtained on Tuesday by legislator Lee Jae-sun. The agency, which had dosed the animals with the vaccine since July to evaluate potential health threats, said the material was unfit for distribution to people. The office added it would call for the cache to be eliminated by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The affected supply of roughly 1 million doses was manufactured by South Korean firms in 2009 and remained within its formal shelf life. An additional 4.59 million doses purchased by South Korea between three and eight years ago have surpassed their intended service periods (Chosun Ilbo, Sept. 7).