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A member of the medical staff measures the temperature of a traveler near Gries am Brenner, Austrian province of Tyrol, at a border crossing with Italy on March 10, 2020.
Kerstin Joensson/AP
ImpactHealth

Canada Just Announced a $40 Million Investment in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

Canadian Minister for International Development Karina Gould announced Sunday that Canada is making an urgent pledge of CA$40 million to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to fund internationally coordinated research to develop a coronavirus vaccine. 

The pledge comes after Global Citizens sent nearly 2,000 messages to Minister Gould and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking Canada to make an urgent pledge over the last two weeks — recognizing that a coronavirus vaccine is fundamental to ending the pandemic. It highlights how now, more than ever, the health of everyone worldwide is interlinked, and demonstrates why countries need to invest in global health and support one another.

"The COVID-19 virus knows no borders," Gould said in a news release. "This has been a wake-up call for the world to stand in solidarity and work together. If there was ever a time for countries and governments to support one another and invest in health globally, it is right now."

This contribution towards CEPI’s urgent $2 billion COVID-19 funding appeal will help enable the initiative to expand the number of vaccine candidates it can test, and run clinical trials to find a successful vaccine. CEPI’s goal is to have at least three vaccine candidates, which could be submitted to regulatory authorities for approval for general use as soon as possible. 

Canada’s pledge to CEPI forms part of a new CA$109.5 million commitment to global COVID-19 response efforts, taking Canada’s total contribution to nearly CA$160 million. It includes funding towards the $2 billion United Nations Humanitarian Appeal, which directs support to the World Health Organization and other partners. It also honours an important part of the commitment Canada made through the recent G7 and G20 leaders’ meetings on COVID-19 to increase coordinated vaccine research efforts, including through CEPI; and comes in addition to a CA$275 million commitment announced by Trudeau on March 11 to enhance Canadian research and development efforts addressing coronavirus.

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With this pledge, Canada joins Norway and the UK who recently made significant new contributions to CEPI to support COVID-19 vaccine development. To this point, Canada had given a total of CA$14 million to CEPI since it began in 2017.

CEPI is a key international initiative that Global Citizen is supporting as part of the "Together At Home" campaign, which calls on people everywhere to stand together to beat coronavirus.  

Started in 2017, CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organizations, that works to develop vaccines to stop future epidemics. CEPI has moved quickly to help advance our understanding of COVID-19 and fast-track development of a vaccine to beat it.