CEPI shares update on Covid-19 vaccine progress

Grace Macej, 8 Dec 2020
Grace Macej, 8 Dec 2020

Discussing the Covid-19 vaccine, the new COVAX initiative, and immunization goals for 2021

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) was formed in 2017, in response to the West Africa Ebola epidemic which resulted in over 28,000 cases and claimed 11,000 lives. It was clear that we, as an international community, needed better preparedness against infectious diseases, particularly in regards to the creation and distribution of vaccines.

CEPI developed as a collaborative effort among the governments of Norway and India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust, and the World Economic Forum. Since its launch, however, it has gained the financial support of many more national governments, including that of the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK, as well as the European Commission. It is also now being supported by the private sector.

When we at Avast were deciding how to allocate our Covid-19 relief effort funds, we carefully reviewed all the fine groups working to end the pandemic, and CEPI quickly rose to the top of the list. Avast proudly made an $8M donation to CEPI and we were told the entire amount went directly to the heart of the effort: vaccine development. 

What exactly does CEPI do? 

In short, it facilitates and funds vaccines, giving researchers the resources they need to move as quickly and productively as they can. The group’s response to Covid-19 was immediate, working with its three golden principles of Speed, Scale, and Access. Currently, it has nine Covid-19 vaccines in development, with eight already in clinical testing. The vaccines that CEPI has supported include Moderna in the U.S. and Astra Zeneca and Oxford in the UK.

CEPI is a key player in the COVAX initiative, which aims to provide an end-to-end solution to Covid-19. COVAX brings together expertise and resources from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. It has 189 countries behind it and is co-led by CEPI, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

Avast CEO Ondrej Vlcek interviewed CEPI Head of Programmes and Technology Nick Jackson about the current status of vaccine development and the timeline objectives CEPI hopes to achieve. Nick explains more about the COVAX initiative’s plan and speaks to the ways it will accomplish its goal of 2 billion vaccine disbursals by the end of 2021. Watch the video to learn more about CEPI and the vaccine that we eagerly await.