Plans to speed up vaccine development to prevent future pandemics and save lives will be boosted by a UK-hosted summit to raise investment from the international community.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have announced today (Friday 30 April) that the UK will host the replenishment summit in 2022 to support the work of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
CEPI works to speed up the development of vaccines for emerging infectious diseases, like COVID-19, and enable equitable access to these vaccines globally.
CEPI’s 5-year strategy, published last month, aims to reduce or even eliminate the future risk of pandemics and epidemics, potentially averting millions of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic damage. CEPI’s ambitions include cutting vaccine development timelines down to 100 days – about a third of the time that it took the world to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The Prime Minister backed this goal ahead of February’s G7 leaders’ meeting.
This is supported by the UK Government’s new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) to save lives from future diseases and prevent another pandemic. The PPP was formed in April and will advise the UK G7 Presidency on how to meet the Prime Minister’s ambition to slash the time to develop and deploy high quality vaccines, backed by additional funding to support CEPI’s work on global vaccine development and manufacturing innovations.
UK Foreign Secretary
UK Health Secretary
Chief Executive Officer, CEPI
The announcement comes ahead of the UK-hosted G7 Foreign and Development Ministers meeting on 3-5 May, where global health will be on the agenda. As part of the UK’s G7 presidency this year, the Government is working with G7 leaders and countries across the world to ensure lessons are learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic in order to build back better. This means working collaboratively to strengthen collective defences and build a global health system, meaning the world can be better protected against future pandemics.
The UK has been leading the international response to the COVID-19 pandemic, using its diplomatic weight and development expertise to help develop and distribute vaccines, support the global economy and encourage international collaboration. It is one of the largest donors to the COVAX AMC, providing £548 million for the scheme. COVAX has so far shipped over 49 million COVID-19 vaccines to 120 countries and territories. CEPI played a vital role in the formation of COVAX and co-leads the initiative alongside the World Health Organization, Gavi, and Unicef.
Earlier this year, the UK also secured a UN Security Council resolution, sponsored by 112 countries, for ceasefires in conflict zones to allow vaccine deliveries to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
To help with their mission to end future pandemics, the Government has already provided £276m to CEPI since 2018.
As the recent Integrated Review set out, the UK is committed to solving global challenges, including helping the world to beat COVID-19 by accelerating equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics worldwide while also investing in the latest science and technology.
This press release also features on .GOV.uk.
The date of the CEPI replenishment summit will be announced in due course.
To date the UK has pledged up to £1.3 billion of UK aid to end the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible.
This funding includes: up to £829 million for the development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests, £312.3 million to support the global health response and build resilience in vulnerable countries, including support to UK charities and international organisations and £150 million for the economic response, to the International Monetary Fund’s Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.
CEPI’s $3.5 billion investment case is available at endpandemics.cepi.net.
CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics.
CEPI’s founders and initial investors are the governments of Norway, Germany, Japan, India, the World Economic Forum, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome. A full list of CEPI’s financial supporters can be found here.
Prior to COVID-19 CEPI’s work focussed on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus – it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).
CEPI has initiated multiple programmes to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access. These programmes leverage the rapid response platforms developed by CEPI’s partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19 as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation to these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.
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