To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what diplomatic steps the Government is taking to support the development of covid-19 vaccines (a) in the UK and (b) throughout the world.
16 June 2021
The Government has worked at pace to find safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We have supported the development of COVID-19 vaccines in the UK through a number of investments, including:
- £20 million to fund clinical trials of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
- Over £40 million for the development of Imperial College London’s vaccine.
- £33.6 million for the Human Challenge Programme.
- £22 million for a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines. This will also fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19.
The Government has also funded the NHS Registry, developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to enable individuals to sign up to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials. This has made the UK well-suited to facilitate clinical trials that are essential to the development of any vaccine. As of 9 June 2021, over 502,000 people had signed up.
The UK has also joined COVAX, an international initiative to support the discovery, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world. This includes contributing £548 million, as one of the largest donors, to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which has already helped over 72 low- and middle-income countries to receive vaccine doses.
In addition to this, the Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to this pandemic, as well as any future pandemics.