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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome Pledge US$300 Million to CEPI for COVID-19 Pandemic Response and to Accelerate Epidemic Preparedness

The foundations call on world leaders to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to help end the COVID-19 crisis, prepare for future pandemics, and address epidemic threats. SEATTLE and LONDON, Jan. 18, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Wellcome each pledged US$150 million for a total of US$300 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global partnership launched five years ago this week by the governments of Norway and India, the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and the World Economic Forum. The pledges come ahead of a global replenishment conference in March to support CEPI's visionary five-year plan to better prepare for, prevent, and equitably respond to future epidemics and pandemics."As the world responds to the challenge of a rapidly evolving virus, the need to deliver new, lifesaving tools has never been more urgent," said Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation. "Our work over the past 20 years has taught us that early investment in research and development can save lives and prevent worst-case scenarios. Five years ago, following the Ebola and Zika epidemics, our foundation helped launch CEPI. Today, we're increasing our commitment and pledging an additional $150 million to help CEPI accelerate the development of safe and effective vaccines against emerging variants of the coronavirus and to prepare for, and possibly even prevent, the next pandemic."Since its inception, CEPI has played a central scientific role in curbing epidemics around the world, overseeing a number of scientific breakthroughs and putting pandemic preparedness at the center of the global health R&D agenda. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, CEPI responded immediately, building one of the world's largest and most diverse portfolios of COVID-19 vaccine candidatesa??14 in all, including six of which continue to receive funding, and three of which have been granted emergency use listing by the World Health Organization (WHO).CEPI made early investments in the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, which is now saving lives around the world. Last month, Novavax's protein-based COVID-19 vaccinea??funded largely by CEPIa??received WHO emergency use listing and is poised to help efforts to control the pandemic globally. More than 1 billion doses of the Novavax vaccine are now available to COVAX, the global initiative co-led by CEPI that aims to deliver equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. CEPI also continues to work on next-generation COVID-19 vaccines, including "variant-proof" COVID-19 vaccines and shots that could protect against all coronaviruses, potentially removing the threat of future coronavirus pandemics.
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