Vaccineצילום: istock

The South Korean government announced Tuesday that it has ordered tens of millions of doses of various coronavirus vaccines, but added that the country isn’t rushing to administered the vaccines en masse, and instead plans to wait and see what effect the vaccinations have long term.

South Korean Health Minister Park Neung-hoo announced Tuesday that his country had signed multiple deals for coronavirus vaccines, securing enough doses to vaccinate 44 million of the country’s nearly 52 million people.

The deals include an order for 20 million doses of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine, 20 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, 20 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, and four million doses of the Janssen-developed vaccine. In addition South Korean officials plan on procuring vaccines for ten million people via the World Health Organization.

But despite the deals, Park said South Korea isn’t planning on pushing aggressive mass vaccination campaigns, calling instead for patience to determine whether the vaccines are safe for mass use.

“We don’t see the need to hurriedly begin vaccination without ensuring that the vaccines’ risks have been verified,” Park said, according to Reuters.

South Korea is expected to start receiving the vaccines in March, and will likely begin use of the vaccines before mid-2021.

While South Korea avoided imposing the kind of comprehensive restrictions on public activity, the country has one of the lowest coronavirus-related fatality rates in the world, with 552 deaths since the pandemic began in a population of roughly 51.5 million.

Following a recent spike in diagnosed cases, however, the government has belatedly called for more restrictions, banning gatherings of over 50 people and limiting on-site dining hours at restaurants.