Sinopharm kicks off joint-production of COVID-19 vaccine in Myanmar
By Leng Shumei Published: Mar 23, 2022 10:27 PM
Chinese companies are making more efforts to help promote access to COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries. On Wednesday, major Chinese vaccine producer Sinopharm confirmed with the Global Times that production of its COVID-19 vaccine in Myanmar officially started under a cooperation project with a local partner and the authorities of the country.
The Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar, Chen Hai, said on Wednesday that the start of operations is a great achievement of China and Myanmar's cooperation on the production of COVID-19 vaccines, according to a statement of the embassy on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.
As the first factory of Sinopharm in Southeast Asia, it will enhance Myanmar's capacity in vaccine production and further satisfy the country's demand for shots as well as strengthen its measures to prevent and control the virus, Chen noted.
China will continue to provide assistance to Myanmar in combating the virus. The Chinese Embassy and the provincial government of neighboring Yunnan are organizing a donation of vaccine syringes to Myanmar, according to Chen.
When addressing the inauguration ceremony of the factory, Lieutenant General Aung Lin Dwe, who is also the secretary of Myanmar's military council, appreciated the efforts of the Chinese government, the Chinese Embassy and Sinopharm for assisting Myanmar in producing shots.
The localized production of Sinopharm's shots is vital for Myanmar as the country is working hard to approach 100 percent vaccination rate amid an outbreak of the Omicron variant, Aung said.
The Sinopharm vaccine manufactured in Myanmar will be named Myancopharm.
It is the product of a supply agreement signed in December 2021, by the Ministry of Industry of Myanmar and the China National Biotec Group affiliated with Sinopharm, for semi-finished vaccine products.
Sinopharm is not the only Chinese company that is actively helping expand global access to vaccines, especially in developing countries and regions.
On Tuesday, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology held an online launch ceremony to honor the opening of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Center.
During the launch ceremony, the five international BRICS Vaccine R&D Centers 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 for the global public good to guarantee the accessibility and affordability of shots in developing countries, and pledged to enhance the ability of BRICS members to contain infectious diseases and respond to public health emergencies through joint R&D efforts, read a statement by Sinovac.
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