U.S. vaccines to S. Korea will ensure safety of troops, deepen friendship: State Dept.

WASHINGTON-- U.S. vaccine support for South Korea will help ensure the safety and readiness of the combined forces in the U.S. ally, a State Department spokesman said Friday.

Ned Price also highlighted the longstanding friendship between the allied countries as one million doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine were heading to South Korea.

"One million J&J vaccines are headed to our partners in the Republic of Korea. With these doses we're ensuring the safety and readiness of ROK and U.S. forces," the spokesman wrote in a Twitter post.

"The friendship between our two countries runs deep, especially in times of great need," he added.

The one million doses were originally intended to inoculate South Korea's 550,000 active service members, who work shoulder-to-shoulder with their American allies on a daily basis, U.S. President Joe Biden earlier noted.

U.S. maintains some 28,500 troops in South Korea under its bilateral joint defense treaty with Seoul.

Seoul, however, decided to use the U.S. vaccines to inoculate its reservists as its own FDA currently does not allow people under the age of 30 years to get Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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