UK calls for global solidarity in search for coronavirus vaccine

The United Kingdom (UK) has called for global solidarity in search for coronavirus vaccine at a time scientists across the world are working tireless to discover treatment for the pandemic which has infected over 3,5 million and claimed over 250, 000 lives worldwide.

Speaking at a virtual international coronavirus pledging conference Monday, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who recently recovered from COVID-19, called on countries to come together in a “truly global effort” to defeat the pandemic.

The UK, together with eight other countries and organisations co-hosted the major international conference to drive forward the global race for coronavirus vaccines, treatments and tests.

The other co-hosts included Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the European Commission.

Prime Minister Johnson called on other countries to step up their efforts and work together on the “most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes”.

The pledging event kick-started a month-long international investment drive ahead of the UK-hosted Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June.

The UK is already the biggest donor to the global fund to find a coronavirus vaccine.

UK has since pledged £388 million for research into vaccines, tests and treatments – part of a larger £744 million existing UK aid commitment to help end the pandemic and support the global economy.

“This includes £250 million for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to develop vaccines against coronavirus – the biggest such donation to the fund by any country,” said the British Embassy in Harare.

Prime Minister Johnson emphasized on the need of working together if the war against COVID-19 was to be won.

“To win this battle, we must work together to build an impregnable shield around all our people, and that can only be achieved by developing and mass producing a vaccine,” said Johnson.

“The more we pull together and share our expertise, the faster our scientists will succeed. The race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries, but the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes. It’s humanity against the virus – we are in this together, and together we will prevail.”

International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said: “It is only by working together that we will prevent future waves of infection and end this pandemic as quickly as possible. By strengthening developing countries’ health systems and working to find a vaccine, the UK is playing its part in stopping the global spread of coronavirus to save lives everywhere and protect our NHS.”

While the world is yet to discover a vaccine for COVID-19, in the UK, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca on Thursday announced a partnership to support large-scale manufacture and potential distribution of a vaccine currently being trialled.

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