27 May 2024
Billion-dollar strategy can turn South Korea into a vaccine power 3

Billion-dollar strategy can turn South Korea into a vaccine power 3

South Korea plans to invest nearly 2 billion USD to enter the group of 5 largest Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers in the world in the next few years.

The ambitious plan was announced by Korean President Moon Jae-in on August 5, at a meeting of the public-private cooperation committee on solutions to promote Korean vaccine production.

The President of South Korea wants to include the Covid-19 vaccine in the group of three national strategic technologies, besides semiconductor materials and batteries, in the context that this Northeast Asian country’s anti-epidemic efforts are being significantly hindered by

With an investment roadmap of nearly 2,200 billion won (about 1.9 billion USD) over 5 years, Korea plans to support about 200 medical scientists, train 10,000 clinical trial specialists and 2,000 production workers.

Korean medical staff attends Covid-19 vaccination training at the Korean Nursing Association in Seoul on February 17.

`We cannot predict which pandemic will hit the world next. Korea needs to develop a vaccine industry to keep the economy alive in the future,` Yoon Sung-suk, political science expert at

Mr. Yoon assessed that Korea needs to equip itself with the capacity to develop and produce vaccines to protect itself against the pandemic.

In addition, South Korea is experiencing the pain of a shortage of Covid-19 vaccines because it depends on external supplies, while the fourth wave of Covid-19 is seriously breaking out in the country.

As of August 8, South Korea has vaccinated at least one dose for 45% of its total population of 52 million people.

On August 9, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol apologized to the people because pharmaceutical company Moderna could only deliver 4.5 million vaccine doses in August, half of the original commitment.

This is not the first time the American pharmaceutical company has been late.

The reality is that the world supply of Covid-19 vaccines is constantly facing the risk of fluctuations.

Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have also just raised product prices.

Billion-dollar strategy can turn South Korea into a vaccine power

South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited SK Bioscience’s vaccine laboratory in Andong city in January. Photo: Yonhap.

President Moon Jae-in emphasized that only domestic development and production of Covid-19 vaccines can ensure national `vaccine autonomy`.

`As long as the world does not have enough vaccines for all countries, we will not be able to prevent the spread of nCoV with new strains constantly appearing. Korea wants to pioneer in solving this problem by becoming a central hub.`

Lee Hoanjong, professor emeritus of Children’s Hospital – Seoul National University, is also optimistic about the prospect of the vaccine industry becoming a new growth engine for Korea.

The desire to build vaccine partnerships with the West was also mentioned by President Moon in his speech last week.

However, South Korea’s plan to become a `vaccine power` is still difficult to avoid doubts.

`Korea can serve as a production base for vaccine developers, but it is difficult for the country to compete with American and European companies in research and development,` Kim said, reminding that AstraZeneca,

`Without fundamental technologies that have been copyrighted by developed countries, only magic can help Korea develop its own domestic vaccine in a short time,` he assessed.

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