Norway intensifies COVID-19 fight with NOK2.2 billion donation to CEPI

Erna Solberg Norway CEPI

Instrumental in the formation of CEPI in 2017, Erna Solberg, Norway's Prime Minister, has long been a champion for global health security and epidemic preparedness.

Norway was one of CEPI's founding partners when the organisation launched, in the wake of the 2014 -15 Ebola epidemic, as the result of a consensus that a coordinated, international, and intergovernmental plan was needed to develop and deploy new vaccines to prevent future epidemics.

With the Government of Norway's announcement of a NOK2.2 billion (US$210 million) boost to CEPI's crucial COVID-19 efforts, it has once again stepped forward as a global leader willing to do whatever it takes to neutralise the global threat posed by COVID-19

CEPI is incredibly grateful for the Government of Norway's and Prime Minister Solberg's extraordinary support for CEPI's efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Developing this vaccine and, most importantly, making it globally accessible, is our only long-term path out of this pandemic situation.

We hope to deliver a safe and effective vaccine within 12-18 months, but we can only do this through a coordinated international effort the likes of which have never been seen outside of war. We need a ‘big science' approach to accelerating vaccine research and we need governments and industry to work together to ensure manufacturing capacity. Organisations with experience of global vaccine distribution, like Gavi, will also play a vital role.

Today's substantial funding announcement reaffirms Norway's commitment to CEPI's mission to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging epidemic threats and to ensure equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks

Dr. Richard HatchettChief Executive Officer, CEPI

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norway was one of CEPI's biggest financial backers, providing $200 million towards the coalition's work to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases like, Chikungunya, Ebola, Lassa, MERS, Nipah, and Rift Valley Fever. Then in February, 2020, Norway announced an initial NOK36 million ($4 million) to aid CEPI's COVID-19 vaccine work. Norway's total funding for CEPI now totals $414 million.

Subsequently, in March, 2020, CEPI estimated that $2 billion would be needed to accelerate development of a COVID-19 vaccine with 12-18 months. In response to this call the Governments of Denmark, Finland, Germany, and the United Kingdom, have pledged $443 million in support. With Norway's substantial contribution CEPI has now raised $660 million (33%) of the $2 billion it urgently needs.

The Governments of Norway, UK, Germany, Finland, and Denmark have got behind CEPI's push to rapidly develop a globally accessible coronavirus vaccine and we now call on other world leaders to join us in our fight. Together we can beat this virus.

Dr. Richard HatchettChief Executive Officer, CEPI

The COVID-19 pandemic poses one of the greatest challenges humankind has faced in the past century. Developing vaccines is the most cost-effective way to save lives and to neutralize the grave threat posed by deadly virus. To date, CEPI has initiated eight COVID-19 vaccine projects.

The financial support CEPI has received from Norway and other governments will help it to continue its rapid progress towards producing safe and effective vaccines, which are globally accessible, within the next 12 to 18 months. However, the world must now work collectively and with urgency to address equitable access to any COVID-19 vaccine.

Image credit: World Economic Forum/ Benedikt von Loebell