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UPDATE 1-Moderna in talks with South Korea to supply about 40 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine

(Adds company confirmation, changes sourcing)

SEOUL, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc said on Tuesday it was in discussions with the South Korean government to potentially provide 40 million or more doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Potential distribution of the two-dose vaccine in South Korea is expected to start in the second quarter of 2021, the company said in a statement. (refini.tv/3pzmkRf)

Earlier on Tuesday, the Yonhap news agency citing the presidential office reported that South Korea will sign a deal with the vaccine developer to offer COVID-19 vaccines for 20 million people.

This comes a day after officials vowed to speed up efforts to launch a public coronavirus vaccination programme as the country detected its first cases of the virus variant linked to the rapid rise in infections in Britain. (Reporting by Sangmi Cha and Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue and Maju Samuel)

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