Amid the global crisis, Britain said that it would host a summit in 2022 with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a leading scientific coalition in order to raise funds for vaccine research and development in response to any future pandemic. The 2022 summit will be aimed at supporting the UK and CEPI’s goal of cutting vaccine development time to about 100 days, which could avert future pandemics and save millions of lives.
Looking at the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Britain is using its presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations to highlight the need to prepare for future pandemics in advance. UK will host the summit next year to support the work of the CEPI in order to raise investment from the international community and to speed up vaccine development to prevent future pandemics to strengthen global health security.
While announcing the summit, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, “We look forward to working with CEPI to speed up vaccine development, in order to create a global solution to ensure we’re better prepared for future pandemics.”
On the other hand, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab while pointing towards the importance of CEPI said that in our need to prepare for future pandemics, we all need to work together to solve this global challenge and CEPI’s work will help us build a safer world.
UK’s response to the pandemic:
Talking about UK’s response to the global pandemic, the country has been leading the international space to the COVID-19 pandemic, using its diplomatic weight and development expertise to help develop and distribute vaccines. UK is also 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 around 120 countries and territories. While CEPI played a vital role in the formation of COVAX and co-leads the initiative alongside the World Health Organization, Gavi, and UNICEF.
Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI):
CEPI is a partnership created in 2017 between public, private, philanthropic and civil society groups. It played a leading role in funding the early development of a range of candidate vaccines against COVID-19.
Dr. Richard Hatchett, CEO of CEPI said, “The UK Government, through its foresight, leadership, and generous financial support, has enabled CEPI, and the world, to accelerate the development of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The organisation is thus honoured and is deeply grateful that the UK Government has announced that it will host our replenishment process.”
He further added, “Now is a moment to capitalise on the rare alignment of political will, practical experience, and technical and scientific progress emerging from COVID-19 to prevent such devastation happening again.”