An urge for an aid of $2 billion to support the efforts to develop a vaccine for the novel, fast spreading and deadly coronavirus that is the cause of the deadly COVID-19 infections around the world was given on Friday by a global coalition set up to fight epidemic diseases.
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) said that a vaccine was the only solution to longer-term control of the coronavirus even though containment measures would help slow the spread, while describing the virus outbreak as an “unprecedented threat in terms of its global impact”.
“It is increasingly clear that containment measures for COVID-19 can only slow down its spread and the virus is now entering a stage of unprecedented threat in terms of its global impact,” said CEPI’s chief executive Richard Hatchett.
“It is critical that we … invest in the development of a vaccine that will prevent people from getting sick.”
In the weeks after the outbreak was first noted and reported in China, the CEPI had announced that $100 million would be put by it into an initial programme of vaccine development that would be used for the pushing the development of a possible vaccine in to the early stage clinical trials in as little a time period as 16 weeks.
However, those funds would be made available by the end of March, it said on Friday. “Without immediate additional financial contributions the vaccine programmes we have begun will not be able to progress and ultimately will not deliver the vaccines that the world needs,” Hatchett said.
An initial funding of $460 million was granted by Germany, Japan and Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust global health charity for the setting up of CEPI in 2017. The aim of founding the organization was to help hasten the process of vaccine development against new and unknown diseases.
An additional funding of 20 million pounds or $26 million was announced by the British government on Friday – in addition to the 30 million pounds of funding that it had already made for CEPI. The United Kingdom also urged other donors to also make donations to the efforts.
(Adapted from Nasdaq.com)