World leaders work on $8bn vaccine fund effort

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Marchmeena29)
(Image: Getty/Marchmeena29)

Related tags: WHO, Vaccine, Coronavirus, COVID-19

The WHO and world leaders commit to a fund to accelerate development of vaccines, tests and treatments for COVID-19.

Further than just aiming to assist such therapies and preventatives, the various heads of state and global health leaders committed to making any such breakthrough available on an ‘equitable access’ basis worldwide.

The WHO convened the meeting that saw the heads of state of Germany, France, Spain, and the UK, among other countries, and the president of the European Commission, as well as figures from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discuss how to speed up the process of developing and deploying vaccines and treatments against the novel coronavirus.

A fund of $8bn (€7.5bn) is being suggested as required to develop multiple approaches to develop and distribute the required treatments and vaccines.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, said, “Countries, health partners, manufacturers, and the private sector must act together and ensure that the fruits of science and research can benefit everybody.”

Further than this, the leaders committed to providing global access to any advancement made against COVID-19

The leaders were also joined by two ‘special envoys’, namely Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi board chair, and Andrew Witty, former CEO of GSK.

Previously​, Andrew Witty had been announced as the co-leader of the WHOs plans to develop a vaccine, a temporary role that he will take up until ‘approximately’ the end of this year.

The next step will be a pledging initiative that will see organizations and countries convene on May 4 to “provide the necessary resources to accelerate achievement of its objectives.”

The step aims to build on work that the WHO is already carrying out to speed up access to diagnostics and to coordinate a global trial to assess the potential of four therapeutics against the virus.

Previously, various organizations across the industry came together to form and contribute to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator​.

With Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus concluding that “no country and no organization can do this alone.”

Related topics: Pipelines, Bio Developments

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