COVID-19 first emerged in Wuhan, China, last December and was declared a global pandemic three months later. So far, there have been more than 2.6 million cases worldwide, and nearly 182,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
“We need to devise and deliver a vaccine programme to get billions of doses out at a speed and scale never before contemplated, let alone achieved: the most rapid vaccine deployment in history”, said Seth Berkley, the alliance’s Chief Executive Officer.
The biopharmaceutical industry also stands ready to bring its unique knowledge to the partnership, as well as its expertise and experience – including in building manufacturing and distribution networks.
“Today, scientists in the public and private sector hold the keys to our common goal: the swift end of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Thomas B. Cueni, Director-General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers.
“In the fight against COVID-19, we must ensure that no one is left behind. We will only succeed in this journey together.”
Pledging conference ahead
The European Commission will on 4 May host a Global Pledging Effort and replenishing campaign to raise 7.5 billion Euros to support the ramping up of COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments.
However, this is but the first step, as beating the virus will require sustained actions on many fronts, said Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission President.
“We need to develop a vaccine, we need to produce it and to deploy it in every single corner of the world, and make it available at affordable prices. This vaccine will be our universal common good”, she stated.