UK launches expert group to fight future pandemics

By Linsey McNeill
20/04/2021
Home » UK launches expert group to fight future pandemics

The UK Government has launched a Pandemic Preparedness Partnership to prevent another global outbreak like coronavirus, which has claimed millions of lives worldwide and brought the travel industry to its knees.

Chaired by the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, PPP will advise on how to meet Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ambition to slash the time to develop and deploy vaccines for new diseases from 300 to just 100 days.

It says an additional £16 million will be provided to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, an international body set up in 2017 to develop vaccines, to support global vaccine supply and development.

The public-private partnership brings together industry, international organisations and leading experts, including representatives from some of the drug companies that have developed COVID vaccines.

It will provide recommendations to speed up the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics through greater global co-operation on research and development, manufacturing, clinical trials and data-sharing.

The aim is to have ‘millions of doses’ of vaccine available for emergency use 100 days from a variant of concern being identified.

Meeting for the first time today, PPP will report to world leaders at the G7 summit taking place in Cornwall in June with a roadmap outlining the steps countries can take to protect against future pandemics.

The COVID pandemic has shaken the world but united us in our determination to ensure no disease has such an impact in the future. As G7 President, the UK is determined to work with our partners to build back better from coronavirus and strengthen global preparedness for future pandemics – Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Sir Patrick said:COVID has shown us that it’s possible to develop and deploy high-quality vaccines much faster than previously imagined. We have brought together the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership to see whether this can be accelerated even further and applied to the development of medicines and diagnostic tests.”

Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: The global response to COVID-19 has proved that we are most successful when we bring together scientists, businesses, governments, and collective action through multilateral institutions.

“This partnership will enable G7 governments to create a roadmap for building a safe, secure, and equitable future for everyone.”

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