Korea accelerates vaccine sovereignty by developing domestic COVID-19 vaccines
SK bioscience has announced that ‘SKYCovione,’ South Korea’s first COVID-19 vaccine candidate adjuvanted with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant has been authorised by the Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS). South Korea has become one of the few countries in the world to have both a domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine and a treatment. The development of SKYCovione has been supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation & Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The market expects that SKYCovione will accelerate securing Korea’s vaccine sovereignty and reducing dependence on vaccine imports. According to the ‘Global Vaccine Markets & Korea´s Vaccine
Imports Exports’ report published by Biotechnology Industry Organization in March, South Korea´s vaccine imports amounted to $2.355 billion, which was 4.5 times the export value ($519 million). Experts explain that the export volume, which was only $183 million in 2017, has nearly tripled due to the contract manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines, but there is still a large gap between imports and exports, so securing a domestic vaccine will be crucial.