We want to stop future epidemics by developing new vaccines for a safer world.
Vaccines are one of the world’s most important health achievements. Yet their life-saving potential hasn’t yet been realised for many known and unknown epidemic threats, particularly in low-income countries, where the risks and needs are often greatest.
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New vaccines could prevent deadly infectious diseases that have epidemic potential from becoming global health emergencies.
Vaccine development needs to start long before an epidemic so that final clinical trials or emergency deployment can begin swiftly in an outbreak. But the vaccines we need aren’t being developed often enough or quickly enough.
Making vaccines that work and are safe isn’t easy – it typically takes more than 10 years -- but we know it can be done. The risks and costs are especially significant for epidemic diseases. Outbreaks come and go, and recent events have shown us that they hit poor countries the hardest, putting immense pressure on already fragile health systems.
Once a vaccine is created, trials are harder to conduct than for more commercially viable vaccines, and complex regulations and laws that vary from country to country can delay getting vaccines to the people who desperately need them.
CEPI – the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations – will overcome these barriers with a new model for funding vaccine developments against epidemic diseases. This will contribute to the health security the world needs.
Infectious diseases are a global problem
Infectious disease epidemics cost the world US$60 billion each year. They match wars and natural disasters in their capacity to endanger lives, disrupt societies and damage economies.
Like SARS before it, and Zika since, Ebola showed how vulnerable the world is to epidemics of infectious diseases. The most recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa killed over 11,000 people and caused an estimated economic loss of $2.2bn in the worst-affected countries in 2015 alone. So we know that in addition to causing immense human suffering, epidemics can severely affect the economies of low and middle-income countries.
Many of the epidemic diseases that we know pose the greatest threat to society could be prevented with vaccines. But very few vaccines against these threats have been developed to create proven medical products.
Vaccines are part of a global solution
CEPI (pronounced 'seppy') is a new alliance between governments, industry, academia, philanthropy, intergovernmental institutions, such as the World Health Organization, and civil society.
We exist to finance and coordinate the development of new vaccines to prevent and contain infectious disease epidemics. As epidemics disproportionately affect low-income countries, CEPI will ensure that the vaccines we help to develop are affordable, so that price is never a barrier to access, and they are available to populations with the most need.
We will thus ensure that vaccines play the fullest possible part in containing infections with epidemic potential, to prevent them becoming public health emergencies, and build a safer world.