This handout photograph provided by the Press Information Bureau shows leaders of the BRICS nations, clockwise from top left, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a video conference in New Delhi, India on September 9, 2021. BEIJING China has been leading the research and development of COVID 19 vaccines among the BRICS countries, spearheading the global fight against the pandemic.
It is the first country to propose COVID 19 vaccine as a global public good, the first to support vaccine intellectual property rights exemption and the first to carry out cooperation in vaccine production with developing countries, playing a positive role in boosting steady economic recovery for all countries.
The joint R&D and collaborative production of COVID 19 vaccines with BRICS countries has been made by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
Since June 2020, Sinovac has collaborated with the Butantan Institute of Brazil to conduct a series of clinical studies, the most important of which is the Phase III clinical trial of the vaccine, which has involved more than 10,000 volunteers.
Since the beginning of the vaccination campaign in 2021, more than 112 million doses of the CoronaVac vaccine have been administered in Brazil. Brazil will begin production of the CoronaVac vaccine in 2023.
In 2021, a Phase III clinical trial of the Chinese vaccine among 4,500 people aged between six months and 17 years showed sound safety and immunogenicity among children aged from six months to three years in South Africa.
Another COVID 19 vaccine developed by China's Sinopharm has been approved for use in South Africa among people aged 18 and older, according to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority SAHPRA on February 7, 2022.
The cooperation in vaccine research and development between China and the other BRICS countries, like Brazil and South Africa, is based on complementary advantages, said Meng Weining, deputy general manager of Sinovac Life Sciences Co. Ltd.
Sinovac expects to strengthen cooperation with BRICS countries and beyond, and will continue to provide vaccine products, enhance the R&D and production capacity of vaccines, and improve the capability of infectious disease prevention and control, Meng said.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, BRICS countries have supported one another with medical supplies and carried out extensive cooperation on infection prevention and control, diagnosis and treatment protocols, vaccines and drug research and development.
During this ceremony, the BRICS countries proposed an initiative to strengthen vaccine cooperation in developing countries to ensure access and affordability of vaccines in developing countries through their equitable distribution as global public goods.
This initiative aims to improve the ability of BRICS countries to control infectious diseases and respond to public health events.
During the launch ceremony, the Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said that China will work with other BRICS countries to promote exchanges and cooperation on vaccine R&D and testing.
ALSO READ: BRICS countries mull pandemic early warning system.