The UK today (4 June) organised the Global Vaccine Summit 2020, helping secure US$7.4 billion (approximately £6 billion) in funding to support global vaccine supply and immunisation. The virtual event saw representatives of more than 50 countries – business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State and country leaders, including Prime Minister Modi – pledge their support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in its commitment to help save up to 8 million lives over the next five years.
Gavi’s routine immunisation efforts, including during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, help stop the spread of infectious diseases and the resurgence of other epidemics. If a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine is developed, it will also have a role in its delivery around the world. Global access will ensure a collective international recovery.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I hope this summit will be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease. I urge you to join us to fortify this lifesaving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes.”
Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: “I was pleased to see such a strong endorsement from Prime Minister Modi at today’s Summit, and to hear his message about the importance of global solidarity. As he said, India’s capacity to produce vaccines at low cost and research expertise will play a very important role. The UK is Gavi’s leading donor and already playing a major role in the international response to Coronavirus. I’m delighted to see the continuing and excellent UK-India collaboration as a force for good against Covid-19 – from vaccine development to keeping essential medical supply routes open.”
Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata said: “It’s heartening to see the United Kingdom and India side-by-side in the fight against infectious diseases as we are on so many of the great global issues of our time.”
Notes to Editors
- Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has immunised over 760 million children in the world’s poorest countries, saving more than 13 million lives. It holds a Pledging Conference every five years to raise funds for its next strategic period; today’s summit secured funding for 2021-2025.
- At today’s Summit, India committed US$15 million to Gavi over the next 5 years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s video address is available here. According to Gavi, India is the only country that has moved from being a recipient to a donor. The country is also now its largest manufacturer, accounting for more than 60% of Gavi vaccines.
- The UK has supported Gavi since its inception in 2000 and is its largest donor, with a pledge of £1.65 billion for the next five years. The Global Vaccine Summit 2020 builds on the UK’s recent role as co-lead for the Global Coronavirus Response Initiative on 4 May, which successfully raised 7.4 billion euros (approximately £6.64 billion) toward vaccines, tests and treatment to tackle coronavirus. As part of global effort to find a coronavirus vaccine, the UK is also the single largest donor country to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations’ urgent appeal.
- UK – India collaboration around a possible coronavirus vaccine includes:
- A consortium comprising Serum Institute, Gates Foundation, MIT, and Spy Biotech (a UK based biotech company) is trying to develop a vaccine using the new spy-tag vaccine development technology.
- Oxford Nanopore is working with some of India’s most renowned scientific institutions to focus on rapid analysis of coronavirus samples.
- A long-term Merck and Wellcome Trust venture on vaccine research, policy and manufacturing will be based in Delhi.