South Korea aspires to achieve the status of a global vaccine hub as a national strategic policy priority. South Korea’s biomanufacturing industry has ramped up the development and production of therapeutic treatments and vaccines to meet the public health demands of the pandemic. The government has responded by promoting public-private partnerships to expand vaccine production capacity to meet current and future needs domestically and abroad in LMICs. To bolster this strategy, the government has entered into partnerships with international organizations, namely the WHO, ADB, and IVI, by establishing training hub programs for a global biomanufacturing workforce in 2022.
This paper examines South Korea’s mechanisms and strategy towards becoming a vaccine hub, the origins of which predate the Covid-19 pandemic but were again spurred by vaccine nationalism and challenges to access early in the pandemic.