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UK gives further £210m towards Covid-19 vaccine development

Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations has now received more than $430m towards $2bn funding goal

The UK government has announced £210 million in further funding towards the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to support the development of vaccines against coronavirus.

The announcement, on 26 March, followed a virtual conference with G20 leaders on the pandemic.

Cepi has asked for $2 billion (£1.5bn) to develop and make vaccines against the virus, with an aim of making hundreds of millions of doses available through a globally fair allocation system within 12-18 months.

The UK had already given £50 million to support Cepi’s work on Covid-19.

Commenting on the funding, Boris Johnson, who tested positive for the virus on 27 March, said UK medics and researchers were “at the forefront of this pioneering work”.

“My call to every G20 country and to governments around the world is to step up and help us defeat this virus,” he said.

Richard Hatchett, chief executive officer at Cepi, said the coalition was “extremely grateful”.

“This decisive action and financial support from the UK government comes at a pivotal moment for a world that is in crisis,” he said.

“The UK has a long history of global health leadership and, today, the UK is once again stepping up as a global leader in its support Cepi and our crucial work to accelerate the development of a vaccine against Covid-19.”

Cepi is currently supporting eight Covid-19 vaccine projects, with partner institutions including the University of Oxford, the University of Queensland and the Institut Pasteur in France, among others.

The coalition has received over $430 million towards its $2 billion funding goal, with UK the largest single donor.