Why we exist

Our mission is to accelerate the development of vaccines and other biologic countermeasures against epidemic and pandemic threats so they can be accessible to all people in need.

Girl getting vaccinated
People sitting on chairs waiting to be vaccinated by a team of health workers in full PPE

Epidemic diseases affect us all. They do not respect borders

As the COVID-19 pandemic showed, in a world characterised by increasing population density, human mobility and ecological change, emerging infectious diseases pose a real and growing threat to global health security. 

The costs of emerging infectious diseases are vast, in both human and economic terms. As well as the devastating death toll and disruption to societies, COVID-19 could cost the global economy US $12.5 trillion through 2024. Even small epidemics can cause tremendous economic disruption. 

Vaccines are one of our most powerful tools in the fight to outsmart epidemics. The development of vaccines can help save lives, protect societies and restabilise economies. 

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Davos meeting

The creation of CEPI

Historically, vaccine development has been a long, risky and costly endeavour. Planning for emerging infectious diseases is especially challenging: the market potential for vaccines against these diseases is limited and testing such vaccines is difficult. 

Events like the devastating 2014-16 outbreak of Ebola in West Africa—which killed more than 11,000 people and had an economic and social burden of over US $53 billion—showed us that very few vaccines are ready to be used against these threats. 

The world’s response to this crisis fell tragically short. A vaccine that had been under development for more than a decade was not deployed until over a year into the epidemic. That vaccine was shown to have 100% efficacy, suggesting that much of the epidemic could have been prevented. 

CEPI was launched at Davos in 2017 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.

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