On Friday, the United Kingdom (UK ) announced that it would host a summit in 2022 to raise funds for vaccine research and development in support of an international alliance aiming to speed up the manufacture of vaccines for potential diseases.
In light of the catastrophic effects of the coronavirus epidemic, Britain is using its presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to emphasise the need to plan for future pandemics.
The UK said the meeting with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) next year will help the group’s aim of reducing the time it takes to produce new vaccines in future pandemics to 100 days.
“We look forward to working with CEPI to speed up vaccine development, creating a global solution to ensure we’re better prepared for future pandemics,” health minister Matt Hancock said.
The summit is intended to attract investment from the international community, but no news on which governments or organisations will be invited as of yet.
CEPI, a collaboration established in 2017 by public, corporate, philanthropic, and civil society organisations, was instrumental in supporting the early production of a number of candidate COVID-19 vaccines.
Global health will be on the agenda of a G7 foreign ministers meeting in May, and Britain said it would encourage international partners to work together to improve global health security.
“Now is a moment to capitalize on the rare alignment of political will, practical experience, and technical and scientific progress emerging from COVID-19 to prevent such devastation happening again,” said CEPI Chief ExecutiveRichard Hatchett.
“CEPI has laid out an ambitious plan that aims to dramatically reduce or eliminate the risk of future pandemics and the UK has embraced the central pillar of that plan – the aspiration to compress vaccine development timelines to as little as 100 days – as part of its G7 agenda.”