Acting on the consensus reached at the BRICS Summit on the early launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology held an online launching ceremony & a workshop on vaccine cooperation on March 22, 2022. The science and technology and health authorities of the five BRICS countries jointly launched the R&D center and discussed vaccine cooperation. Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang, South African Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation Blade Nzimande, Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga, Russian Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, Indian Minister of Health Mansukh Mandaviya attended and addressed the online ceremony. Russian Deputy Minister of Health Andrey Plutnitsky and South African Ambassador to BRICS Anil Sooklal attended the online ceremony. Chinese Vice Minister of Science and Technology Zhang Guangjun was the moderator.
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 over 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, and make BRICS shine brighter. BRICS countries should seize the opportunity of the launch of the Vaccine R&D Center to promote exchanges and cooperation in areas such as joint research of vaccines, co-building of plants, and mutual recognition of standards, strengthen the “BRICS defense line” against the pandemic and demonstrate the BRICS commitment to fighting the pandemic together with the world, so as to deliver a message of hope and confidence for global recovery, and support the building of a community with a shared future for mankind with concrete actions.
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 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 welcomes the participation of more partners. The launch of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center and the proposed initiative mark another solid step toward stronger BRICS cooperation in public health and vaccine research.
Representatives from five national centers presented the construction of their respective vaccine R&D centers. Experts from BRICS vaccine developers had a fruitful discussion on the policy and mechanism for the research of COVID vaccines in BRICS countries, the BRICS experience in pandemic response and how to work together to deal with new variants of the virus, cooperation between BRICS countries to address other infectious diseases amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to effectively cooperate in the fields of vaccine R&D and clinical trials, joint production and licensed manufacture.