The government said it would invest 193.6 billion won ($161.1 million) in developing a treatment and a vaccine against the new coronavirus.
The government held a meeting to discuss executing the extra budget to develop a Covid-19 treatment and a vaccine at a hotel in Seoul on Thursday.
Out of the 193.6 billion won extra budget passed by the National Assembly on July 3, the government will allocate 11.5 billion won to developing a treatment and a vaccine.
More specifically, 94 billion won will be supported for all-stage clinical trials – 45 billion won for studies on antibody/plasma treatments, and 49 billion won for three major platform technologies for vaccines.
An additional 17.5 billion won will go to developing biotech and medical technologies to discover 10 treatment and vaccine candidates and 5 billion won, to test their efficacy and toxicity.
The government decided to spend 35.7 billion won to advance devices for disease control and prevention. Out of them, 22.2 billion won is to develop Korea-specific disease control packages and 13.5 billion won, to localize and advance equipment for quarantine and diagnosis.
The government said it would designate institutions and shorten the period for bidding for state-supported research projects to speed up the execution of the extra budget for the Covid-19 vaccine and treatment development.
“Since the government announced supporting measures to help develop a Covid-19 treatment and a vaccine, it has been taking practical measures for over a month,” Health and Welfare Minister Park Neung-hoo said.
He emphasized that the government would swiftly execute the extra budget by shortening the public bidding to help develop an effective and safe local treatment and vaccine.
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