Beijing: A launch ceremony for the BRICS Vaccine Research and Development (R&D) Centre was held online on Tuesday.

During the ceremony, the Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang said that China will work with other BRICS countries to use the centre's launch as an opportunity to promote exchanges and cooperation on vaccine R&D and testing.

China will work with these countries to jointly establish plants and the mutual recognition of standards, so as to strengthen the defence against COVID-19 and deliver hope and confidence for global economic recovery, Wang said.

At the ceremony, the five BRICS countries jointly proposed an initiative to strengthen vaccine cooperation to ensure the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries through their equitable distribution as global public goods.

The initiative is also aimed at enhancing BRICS countries' capability to control infectious diseases and respond to public health events.

It places special emphasis on openness and welcomes more partners to join. The launches of the BRICS Vaccine R&D Centre and the initiative mark a solid step forward in strengthening cooperation on public health and vaccine R&D among BRICS countries.

Related officials and representatives from the five BRICS countries attended the ceremony online.