CEPI has one of the world’s largest portfolios of vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and is proud to have co-led COVAX. Find out more about CEPI’s response to COVID-19 and how it is working to get ahead of the next coronavirus threat.

scientific illustration of several covid-19 viruses lined up


The number of CEPI-backed COVID-19 vaccines approved for domestic or global use.

2 billion

Number of doses delivered through COVAX, an initiative co-led by CEPI.


Number of countries and territories that received COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX.

CEPI’s R&D response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is a deadly infectious disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. It is a Betacoronavirus, which is part of the Coronavirus family

When COVID-19 struck in January 2020, CEPI was primed. The genetic sequence for SARS-CoV-2 was published on January 11, 2020. 

On January 23, when just 581 cases of the virus had been confirmed worldwide, CEPI launched its first three programmes to accelerate vaccine development against this novel pathogen. 

In the months that followed, CEPI built one of the world’s largest and most diverse COVID-19 vaccine portfolios, based on the principles of Speed, Scale, and Access. 

CEPI invested over US $1.5 billion to advance 14 COVID-19 vaccines, seven of which have been approved for domestic or global use

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Enabling equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines

Along with Gavi, WHO, and UNICEF, CEPI co-led COVAX the global initiative to deliver fair and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. 

COVAX shipped close to 2 billion doses of vaccine to 146 countries and territories, averting an estimated 2.7 million deaths by the end of 2022.

CEPI systematically leveraged its investments to enable equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, securing first right of refusal for the COVAX Facility to access hundreds of millions of doses of multiple vaccines at a time when global demand vastly outstripped supply. 

CEPI also made strategic investments in vaccine manufacturing to help scale-up supplies, supported enabling science, shared data that benefited the entire scientific field, and funded clinical trials designed to expand access to vaccines to additional populations.

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The continued threat of COVID-19 and other coronaviruses

While COVID-19-related deaths and hospitalisations have declined, the world must remain vigilant. SARS-CoV-2 has consistently demonstrated its ability to mutate and adapt to our countermeasures. 

That’s why CEPI continues to support the development of a next generation of tools that can put humanity ahead – not only of SARS-CoV-2 and its viral variants, but also of future potential coronavirus threats.

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How CEPI is future-proofing coronavirus vaccines

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, was the third novel coronavirus to have made the jump from animals into humans since 2000. First came SARS-CoV-1 in 2003. Then, around a decade later, came MERS-CoV. Each of these coronaviruses caused major, deadly epidemics. Another decade on came COVID-19, unleashing a devastating pandemic on an unprepared world.

CEPI is helping to prepare the world for future coronavirus threats, as one of the world’s leading funders of R&D for vaccine candidates with the potential to provide broad protection against existing and future variants of SARS-CoV-2 and other Betacoronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and others.

Find out how
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