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(LEAD) S. Korea aims to become world's 5th largest vaccine producing nation by 2025: Moon

All News 16:49 August 05, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from para 4)

SEOUL, Aug. 5 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that South Korea aims to become the world's fifth-largest vaccine-producing nation in the next four years, in line with the country's bid to become a global COVID-19 vaccine production hub.

In a meeting held at Cheong Wa Dae on the government's vaccine hub strategy, Moon pledged to designate vaccine development as one of the nation's three strategic technology areas, along with those of semiconductors and batteries, and invest 2.2 trillion won (US$1.92 billion) in the next five years.

Moon also explained that a homegrown coronavirus vaccine in development was scheduled to enter phase-three clinical testing this month and expressed hope to achieve commercial use within the first half of 2022.

This photo provided by Cheong Wa Dae on Aug. 5, 2021, shows President Moon Jae-in speaks during a government vaccine hub strategy meeting held at his office. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

He also presented a vision of maximizing the production capabilities of South Korean drug manufacturers by expanding tax breaks on vaccine-related research and facilities investment.

"We aim to nurture over 200 new medical scientists annually while promoting the cultivation of man power in the biomedical industry, including some 10,000 experts in clinical testing and 2,000 bio production experts," Moon said.

Moon also promised to cooperate closely with the United States in regard to a Seoul-Washington vaccine supply partnership he forged with U.S. President Joe Biden in May.

The president said the government will also expand global vaccine partnerships to include deals with Germany and Britain. "We will lay the groundwork to create a global vaccine hub by promoting foreign investment and attracting global companies," he added.

Moon also promised to provide support to the development of the supposedly more advanced researching messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines, stating that core production technologies of the new type of vaccine were currently under development in South Korea.


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