Global Vaccine Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi participating in Global Vaccine Summit 2020. Image credit – Twitter

The UK on Thursday organised the Global Vaccine Summit 2020, helping secure US$7.4 billion (approximately £6 billion) in funding to support global vaccine supply and immunisation.

The virtual event saw representatives of more than 50 countries – business leaders, UN agencies, civil society, government ministers, Heads of State, and country leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

During the event, the participants pledged their support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in its commitment to help save up to 8 million lives over the next five years.

At Thursday’s event, India committed US$15 million to Gavi over the next 5 years.

Gavi’s routine immunisation efforts, including during the course of the coronavirus pandemic, help stop the spread of infectious diseases and the resurgence of other epidemics.

If a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine is developed, it will also have a role in its delivery around the world. Global access will ensure a collective international recovery.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “I hope this summit will be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease.”

“I urge you to join us to fortify this lifesaving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes,” the UK Prime Minister said.

Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: “I was pleased to see such a strong endorsement from Prime Minister Modi at today’s Summit, and to hear his message about the importance of global solidarity.”

“As he (Modi) said, India’s capacity to produce vaccines at low cost and research expertise will play a very important role. The UK is Gavi’s leading donor and already playing a major role in the international response to coronavirus,” said Thompson.

“I’m delighted to see the continuing and excellent UK-India collaboration as a force for good against Covid-19 – from vaccine development to keeping essential medical supply routes open,” Thompson added.

Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata said: “It’s heartening to see the United Kingdom and India side-by-side in the fight against infectious diseases as we are on so many of the great global issues of our time.”

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance has immunised over 760 million children in the world’s poorest countries, saving more than 13 million lives.

“It holds a pledging conference every five years to raise funds for its next strategic period; today’s summit secured funding for 2021-2025,” the British High Commission, Kolkata, said in a statement.

“At today’s summit, India committed US$15 million to Gavi over the next 5 years,” the High Commission added.

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