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Covid-19: Vaccine Development

Volume 675: debated on Tuesday 5 May 2020

The development of a coronavirus vaccine is in its early stages but progressing rapidly. The Government have backed two promising vaccine candidates from the University of Oxford and Imperial College, and we are making over £45 million available to those teams—alongside the hundreds of millions that we are making available to the global vaccine search.

I am grateful for the Secretary of State’s response. The World Health Organisation has undoubtedly made mistakes over covid-19 and needs deep reforms, but this global pandemic requires a global response. How is the UK liaising with the WHO so that we work together globally to beat this virus?

We do work globally, and we do work together. As the Prime Minister made clear yesterday, we have committed £744 million to the global response to coronavirus. We are significant funders of the WHO, and I am grateful for its work. We are also a significant funder of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which is leading the global search for a vaccine. In fact, we are making the largest contribution of any country in the world to the global search for a vaccine, and three of the top 10 vaccine candidates are being developed here in the UK.