The Government has confirmed New Zealand’s continued participation in an international coalition for vaccine research.
Research, Science and Innovation Minister, Megan Woods said the Government had pledged $10 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) over five years to support its continued work to develop COVID-19 vaccines and to prepare for future pandemics.
“This renewed support will ensure our membership for the next five years,” the Minister said.
“CEPI plays a critical role in supporting the global scientific community and it was a major contributor to the development of most of the vaccines available for COVID-19 today.
“New Zealand’s membership of CEPI, and the participation of our researchers and innovators in its networks significantly improves our ability to respond to this, and any future pandemic,” she said.
RSI Associate Minister and Associate Minister of Health, Ayesha Verrall said CEPI had a vital role through the COVAX partnership in ensuring the international community has equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and other essential research and innovation.
“Supporting CEPI’s five-year plan, alongside our international partners, strengthens the global system for pandemic preparedness and response. New Zealand also provides active support to COVAX itself, contributing more than $26 million to date,” Dr Verrall said.
CEPI’s five-year plan includes:
- being able to develop vaccines for any future pandemic within 100 days of the viral sequence being identified,
- developing pan-coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics that would apply across COVID-19 variants and other coronaviruses, and
- establish networks of global vaccine scientific and manufacturing capacity that can be rapidly utilised in any future pandemic.
Associate Minister Verrall announced New Zealand’s pledge at the CEPI replenishment summit.