President Moon Jae-in said that he plans to invest (US$1.92 billion) KRW2.2 trillion to turn The Republic of Korea (ROK) into one of the world’s five largest manufacturing bases of COVID-19 vaccines by 2025.
The President made these remarks at a meeting of a newly launched public-private committee set up to explore ways and means to boost the production of Covid-19 vaccines amid shipment delays and global supply shortages.
Moon said that S.Korea will strive to become one of the top five global vaccine producers and he will designate COVID-19 vaccines as a national strategic technology, along with batteries and semiconductors, to build up financial assistance in the form of investments, various tax breaks, and several other incentives.
The panel of the newly launched public-private committee includes venture capitalists, medical and vaccine experts. The panel also has drugmakers like Samsung Biologics, SK Bioscience, ST Pharm, and Ecell.
The term of President Moon is due to end in March. President has been facing pressure lately over the fourth COVID-19 wave and the slow pace of the immunization campaign. Due to these reasons, the President has now made vaccine production a key priority.
Several companies are already in the race to make effective vaccines to fight the Covid-19 virus. The ten biggest vaccine makers in the world as of 2021 are Curevac, Biotech, Chongqing Zhifei Biological Products, Moderna, Glaxo Smith Kline, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Serum Institute of India (SII), have announced their cooperation to produce the Russian vaccine Sputnik. The Russian vaccine against coronavirus will be available from September. Serum Institute of India(SIL) is the largest company in terms of the production of COVID vaccines, with over 500 million doses manufactured. SIL is currently manufacturing Covishield(developed by AstraZeneca-Oxford). It is also producing Covovax (by Novavax) and also simultaneously conducting trials of Codagenix in the UK.
The first batch of the Russian vaccine Sputnik will most probably be available by September this year. The parties involved intend to produce more than 300 million doses of the Sputnik vaccine in India per year.