COVID-19 vaccine R&D centre opens in Beijing to serve BRICS

Sinovac Biotech Ltd of China has opened in Beijing a centre to develop vaccines against COVID-19 for the bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS), Xinhua reports.

The BRICS Vaccine Research and Development Centre is meant to prompt production of acceptable vaccines, and recognition among members of the bloc of each other’s standards for vaccines, according to a report carried by the Chinese state-run news agency last week.

It says the centre will increase cooperation among universities, scientific institutions and industry in monitoring mutations of the COVID-19 virus.

The centre will look into strategies for administering vaccines, and spur trials of vaccines and their production on an industrial scale, the report says.

Sinovac has distributed 540 million doses of its CoronaVac vaccine, or one-quarter of all COVID-19 vaccine available worldwide, supplying them to China and nearly 40 other parts of the world, including Brazil; and about 400 million of those doses have been administered, Xinhua says.