South Korea considers support for Covid-19 syringe makers to scale up output, exports

Shina Corp has an annual production capacity of 180-200 million syringes, and had exports worth S$18 million in 2020. PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea is considering supporting syringe manufactures to boost production, capacity and exports of special syringes for coronavirus vaccines, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said.

Minister Kim Gang-lip visited on Tuesday (Feb 2) syringe manufacturer Shina Corp south of Seoul, which makes a special "low dead space" syringe meant for Covid-19 vaccines that maximises the amount of vaccine injected, the ministry said in a statement following a meeting between government officials and syringe makers.

Shina Corp has an annual production capacity of 180 million to 200 million syringes, and had exports worth 15.5 billion won (S$18 million) in 2020, the ministry said.

Mr Kim said the South Korean government will step up support for syringe makers, including by linking state financial help and providing consulting on exporting overseas such as certification procedures and required documents.

Syringe manufacturers that participated in the meeting included Doowon Meditec, which produced 40.3 million syringes last year, PoongLim Pharmatech, which has set up capacity to produce 10 million syringes per month and plans to begin production this month, and Sungshim Medical, according to company officials.

Countries around the world have in the last month kicked off ambitious vaccination campaigns to control the spread of Covid-19 virus, leading to unanticipated demand for specialised syringes in the US and a surge of orders for Chinese syringe makers.

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