Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid attended the CEPI Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit 2022 this Tuesday 8 March where he made a speech on the UK’s readiness to react to public health threats as well as the required focus on vaccinations and diagnostics.
CEPI is an innovative global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations. It works to accelerate the development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases and enable equitable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks. CEPI’s go-leads are Gavi (The Vaccine Alliance, a public-private global health partnership) and the World Health Organisation.
In his speech, Javid discussed the ‘success story’ of COVID vaccines as an example of working together towards a single goal. 5 billion people across the globe now have the protection of at least one COVID vaccine dose as a result of the huge efforts from a host of countries. “…for instance the Pfizer vaccine contains some 280 different components from 19 different countries”, noted Mr Javid.
A partnership is currently ongoing between CEPI and biotech company DIOSynVax to develop a variant-proof vaccine that could shield populations from future COVID-19 evolutions.
Mr Javid referenced International Women’s Day to recognise the work of incredible scientists, such as Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert who pioneered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for the virus. He encouraged the UK to “keep moving at the pandemic pace and pursuing scientific solutions”. Also mentioned was the 100 Day Mission, a G7-driven aim to ensure that “we can make diagnostics and therapeutics and vaccines more available, more effective, more affordable within the first 100 days of any new pandemic being identified.”