The UK will host a global summit alongside a major scientific coalition aimed at supporting plans to accelerate vaccine development in response to any future pandemics.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and Health Secretary Matt Hancock have announced that the UK will host a summit in 2022 in partnership with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (Cepi).
It will raise investment from the international community in support of the UK and Cepi’s goal of slashing vaccine development time to 100 days – about a third of the time that it took the world to develop a coronavirus jab.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed this goal ahead of a meeting of the G7 leaders in February and it is supported by the Government’s new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP).
Mr Raab said: “UK scientists and researchers have led pioneering work to create life-saving vaccines, now being rolled out in the UK and around the world.
“But ultimately, we need to be prepared for future pandemics. As we set out in the Integrated Review, we all need to work together to solve this global challenge.”
Mr Hancock said: “The UK’s leadership in developing a vaccine that can be used around the world has been vital in the fight against Covid-19.
“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.”
Dr Richard Hatchett, chief executive of Cepi, added: “The United Kingdom has extraordinary human and institutional resources and an incredible record of scientific accomplishment and innovation.
“We take great pride in partnering with them to begin building a better, safer, more equitable future.”