Marking the day that all Covid restrictions are removed, the government has pledged £160 million to speed up vaccine development.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) already has a 100-day mission to create the next vaccine against the next disease and has received a total of £276 million in support from the UK government since 2018.
After a remarkable vaccination programme was rolled out across the UK at the end of 2020, the Covid jab proved to be a crucial part to beginning the journey back to pre-pandemic times.
The new funding with allow CEPI’s development of future vaccination programmes which will help to fight against infectious diseases like Covid-19 whilst also allowing equal access to these vaccinations across the globe.
This comes prior to the UK government hosting the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit, which will be held in London across two days (7th-8th March).
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This pandemic is a global challenge, and it has shown the best way to chart a course back to freedom is by standing side by side with our international partners.
“The UK’s ground-breaking science and research has led the way on vaccines and treatments, it is helping us learn to live with COVID-19. Our £160 million pledge will support CEPI’s vital work to cut vaccine development to 100 days and protect us all against future health threats.
“The UK, as a global leader, is helping other countries most in need because no one is safe until everyone is safe”.
The Summit in early March will bring see leaders from the world sciences and health sector come together to discuss the importance of vaccine innovations and how crucial a fast development is to ensuring the safety of society.
Dr Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI, said: “This funding comes at a critical moment, allowing CEPI to pursue our ambitious programme to develop ‘variant proof’ vaccines against COVID-19 and other betacoronaviruses as well as pursue our life saving work developing vaccines against the next Disease X and known viral threats such as Lassa Fever, Nipah and Chikungunya.
“Contemplating future pandemics is difficult, especially as we continue to battle the current one, but the threat is real and we must seize this rare convergence of political will, practical experience, and scientific progress to build a world that is better prepared.
“We are delighted to partner with the UK in hosting next month’s Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit which will bring the global community together to focus on future threats and to explore what it will take for the world to be better prepared and, in particular, prepared to develop, and enable access to, safe and effective vaccines against new pathogens in 100 days.
“We thank the UK government for elevating the 100 Day Mission to a G7 priority through its Presidency of the G7 in 2021 and for extending its support today. CEPI is proud to continue our collaboration with the UK government and its world-leading life-sciences sector to build a better, safer, more equitable future for all”