24 February 2022 – We welcome the UK Government’s announcement today of £160 million over the next five years to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) for their life-saving work on vaccine research and development (R&D). However, the UK Government must show the leadership required by its role as host of the Pandemic Preparedness Summit in March and increase its pledge to £300 million, in view of the ambitions of CEPI’s 2.0 5-year strategy, which aims to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days (less than one-third of the time it took to develop the first COVID-19 vaccines).

We urge the Foreign Secretary and Health Secretary to utilise this global stage to demonstrate Britain’s ongoing commitment to global health research and development in line with the  Government’s ongoing R&D commitments. The UK’s pledge today marks a £116 million drop from it’s previous pledge to CEPI of £276 million. With other G7 countries projected to step up and pledge their support, now is the time for the UK Government to demonstrate global leadership to encourage other countries to make substantial contributions to CEPI and jointly achieve its $3.5 billion replenishment target.

Following the Summit, the UK must work with CEPI to ensure its commitment to equitable access through technology transfer and partnership with manufacturers and innovators in low- and middle-income countries continues to expedite access to critical health tools around the world. 

By ensuring fair and equitable access to new vaccines, CEPI will help save millions of lives and trillions of dollars by giving the world a fighting chance to tackle future disease outbreaks before they become pandemics.

The UK Government’s existing pledge must be considered a downpayment, ahead of a more significant pledge at the upcoming Summit. Given the critical importance of having the tools to fight pandemics at home, the remainder of funds for CEPI must be sourced from outside the UK’s Official Development Assistance target.

Signed: RESULTS UK, The Pandemic Action Network, Save The Children