In order to implement the consensus of the BRICS leaders' meeting on the early launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center, on March 22, 2022, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology held an online launch ceremony of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center and the Vaccine Cooperation Workshop. Leaders from science and technology and health departments of BRICS countries and representatives from each country's center witnessed the launch of the center and discussed vaccine cooperation.
Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Quiroga, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, Indian Minister of Health Mansukh Mandaviya, and South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande attended the online launch ceremony and delivered speeches, and Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Zhang Guangjun hosted the launch ceremony.
Minister Wang Zhigang said in his address that BRICS countries are a model for the joint self-improvement of emerging markets and developing countries and a key force in promoting global governance. In 2022, China takes the BRICS presidency. We will work with other BRICS countries under the theme of “Foster High-quality BRICS Partnership, Usher in a New Era for Global Development” to deepen BRICS cooperation across the board, make BRICS shine brighter, burnish BRICS credentials for South-South cooperation, and inspire hope and confidence for a joint effort by all countries to beat the pandemic and promote global recovery.
Weidong Yin, Chairman, president and CEO of SINOVAC Biotech LTD. (SINOVAC), spoke as a representative of the China Center of BRICS Vaccine R&D Center, "Thank you for the trust of my country, which allows SINOVAC to participate in the BRICS countries as the 'China Center'. This is an honor and an important responsibility for SINOVAC. In the past two years, SINOVAC has carried out pragmatic cooperation with Brazil and South Africa in the fields of joint research and development and cooperative production of COVID-19 vaccines, and has achieved a number of important results. In the future, we look forward to continue to strengthen the good cooperation relationship that has been built with BRICS and other countries, and keep expanding new areas of cooperation."
During the launch ceremony, the five national centers of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center jointly put forward the Initiative on Strengthening Vaccine Cooperation and Jointly Building a Defensive Line against Pandemic, calling for the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines as a global public good to guarantee the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries, and pledged to enhance the BRICS countries’ ability to contain infectious diseases and respond to public health emergencies through joint R&D efforts. The initiative places special emphasis on openness, and the five national centers welcomed the participation of more partners. The launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center and the initiative mark another solid step toward stronger BRICS cooperation in public health and vaccine research.
At the Vaccine Collaboration Symposium following the launch ceremony, experts from vaccine R&D institutions in BRICS countries focused on the policy and mechanism of the COVID-19 R&D in BRICS countries; sharing of experience in fighting against epidemics and how to cooperate to effectively deal with VOCs; cooperating to deal with other infectious disease challenges during pandemic; how to effectively cooperate in vaccine R&D and clinical trials, cooperating and licensing vaccine products in BRICS countries; etc. This symposium had a fruitful discussion on how to effectively cooperate in vaccine R&D and clinical trials, collaboration and licensed production.