Ethiopia has announced that it supports the 3.5 billion USD pandemic and epidemic prevention and mitigation plan put forth by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a foundation set up with the purpose of developing vaccines against infectious diseases based on the WHOs ‘blueprint priority diseases’.
CEPI was founded in 2015 by a consortium of Norway, Japan, and Germany, the Wellcome Trust, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The European Union joined CEPI in 2019 and Britain joined in 2020.
The new plan, which Ethiopia is supporting, is meant to promote the existing framework of cooperation surrounding vaccines. CEPI is a co-founder of COVAX, the initiative launched to promote the accessibility of vaccines to developing countries. Ethiopia recently received 2.2 million doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine as part of COVAX’s mission.
Other supporters of the CEPI plan so far include Norway, Germany, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum, the World Health Organisation, and UNICEF. The plan is going to include 1 billion USD of the 3.5 billion being allocated to the research and development of vaccines for future variants of the diseases of concern.
The company also plans to launch a call for proposals at the end of March that will provide $200 million in funding for an “all-in-one” vaccine that could protect against several strains of coronaviruses, including SARS, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2.