UK prime minister urges G7 leaders to help speed up development of Covid-19 biotech
The UK prime minister is calling on world leaders to back plans for a 100-day target to create new Covid-19 vaccines, first proposed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations earlier this year.
Boris Johnson has asked chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance to work with international partners to advise the G7 on speeding up development of vaccines, treatments and tests.
Speaking ahead of a meeting on 19 February with the G7—which includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States—Boris Johnson said scientists had “risen to the challenge” during the pandemic.
“The development of viable coronavirus vaccines offers the tantalising prospect of a return to normality, but we must not rest on our laurels. As leaders of the G7 we must say today: never again,” he said.
“By harnessing our collective ingenuity, we can ensure we have the vaccines, treatments and tests to be battle-ready for future health threats, as we beat Covid-19 and build back better together.”
Vallance is to work with the World Health Organisation, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, as well as industry and scientific experts on supporting the target, which would cut the time to develop new vaccines by two-thirds.
In addition, Johnson will call on G7 leaders to support a treaty on pandemic preparedness through the WHO.
Leaders are also expected to confirm their support for the UK’s G7 health priorities and discuss efforts to address global challenges and secure a “sustainable green recovery”.
Meanwhile, the prime minister has confirmed that the UK will share the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccines from its supply in line with the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access scheme to support developing countries.