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S. Korean gov't announces plans to support COVID-19 vaccine development Updated: 2020-10-31 10:21:15 KST

South Korean health authorities announced plans to help secure treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
Steps involve supporting foreign clinical trials as well as training some 10-thousand professionals in the field.
Choi Jeong-yoon tells us more.
South Korea's effort to secure a COVID-19 vaccine is gaining steam.
The government on Friday announced its aims to develop a virus treatment by the end of the year and at least one vaccine by 2021pledging its full support for domestic research.
"Many companies in South Korea are spurring on COVID-19 treatment and vaccine development and the government is devoting its energy to the development's success though it could be little later than other countries."
The new layout for the plan focuses on securing enough clinical trials for pharmaceutical companies in the country.
The health officials emphasize the need for citizens' interest and active participation in human trials.
For this, the government will open a website just for COVID-19 trials to provide specific information while encouraging patients in triage centers to enroll in trials.
To speed up the process, it will standardize guidelines for screening trials while revising pharmaceutical laws and regulations on passing research funds for the participating institutions.
Also on the list are plans to train some 10-thousand professionals in the field by 2025.
However, due to the limited number of COVID-19 patients in the country, the government is also finding ways for domestic firms to test foreign patients.
Government departments, including the foreign ministry will aid companies to get swift approval from the related facilities abroad.
Seoul is also trying to secure supplies by purchasing vaccines produced outside the country.
So far, it has already acquired vaccines for 10-million people20 percent of the total populationby pre-paying some 75 million U.S. dollars into the COVAX Facility, an initiative under the World Health Organization aiming to finance COVID-19 vaccines for fair distribution to all countries.
The rest will be provided directly by overseas pharmaceutical firms based on the vaccines' safety, effectiveness, price and when they can be made available for use.
Choi Jeong-yoon, Arirang News.
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