Covid-19: Vaccine Development

Health and Social Care – in the House of Commons on 5th May 2020.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

What progress has been made on the development of a covid-19 vaccine.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

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.

Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

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?

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

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.