Giving Compass' Take:

There are five primary areas where we need to take global collective action to fund the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

What role can donors play in funding research and promoting collective impact?

Read more about the impact of global vaccinations.

On February 20, the World Bank and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), which funds development of epidemic vaccines, cohosted a global consultation on funding the development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. We wrote a working paper to guide the consultation, which we coauthored with World Bank and CEPI colleagues.

The consultation led to the launch of a COVID-19 Vaccine Development Taskforce that is now working on how to finance the development and manufacturing of vaccines for global access.

An effective vaccine will both prevent people getting COVID-19 and curb transmission. Without a safe, effective, and globally accessible vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to threaten lives and livelihoods.

As nobody knows which vaccines are going to work, it is important to run multiple vaccine development efforts in parallel to ensure that a vaccine will be available in 12-18 months. However, making COVID-19 vaccines available is not only a scientific challenge. Previous health emergencies, such as the 2009 swine flu pandemic and the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, have shown that it can sometimes be difficult to organize global collective action.

All stakeholders involved should do everything feasible to reduce vaccine development timelines and to collectively contribute to ending the pandemic. In particular, there are five key areas in which we need collective action.

  1. Funding must be rapidly mobilized for vaccine development and deployment.
  2. Collective action is needed to build large-scale manufacturing capacity for COVID-19 vaccines.
  3. To make a system for global access work, we will need well-funded purchasing agents to ensure that quality-assured vaccines reach those most in need in a timely manner.
  4. Investments for vaccine development and manufacturing should proceed in tandem with building national systems for delivery of vaccines.

Read the full article about funding COVID-19 vaccines by Marco Schäferhoff, Gavin Yamey, and Kaci Kennedy McDade at Brookings.