Leading Countries across the world pledge USD 8 billion for COVID-19 vaccine research. Several countries commit to contributing to fight the battle against the pandemic, but the US stays away from any contribution.
Contribution for COVID-19 Vaccine Research
Around 40 countries and donors took part in the online conference organized by EU and non-EU countries like Norway, Britain, Italy, Norway, and Saudi Arabia. Japan, Canada, South Africa, and dozens of other countries were a part of this virtual event. Besides, the conference included the Chinese Ambassador to the European Union (the only representative from China) who made no financial pledge.
However, USA and Russia skipped the chance to contribute, stating that they are already spending billions of dollars on research. The conference aimed at getting funds for laboratories and research work required to develop the vaccine for COVID-19.
An Effort for Global Coordination to COVID-19 Vaccine
The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, while chairing the event, said that the combined efforts would help kick-start the process of producing the vaccine. The leaders spoke at the event and mentioned that contribution might not be a competition among the countries.
The biggest contributors were the EU and Norway with each pledging one billion euros. While Japan pledged to donate USD 800 million, Germany offered 525 million euros. Besides, Italy and Spain, despite being the hardest-hit countries, will provide more than 100 million euros. Also, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Israel pledged to contribute 378 million euros, 192 million euros, and 60 million dollars respectively.
Absence of USA won’t Hamper COVID-19 Vaccine Development Process
On the other hand, the U.S. government’s top expert Dr Anthony Fauci stated that even if there are adequate funds, developing a vaccine could take around 12 to 18 months. That said, if everything goes perfectly, there won’t be enough for everyone initially. That apart, French president Emmanuel Macron expressed confidence in the USA stating they might join the initiative at some point. Further, he added that the absence of the US does not hamper the development of the vaccine.
In all, the development of vaccine requires more funding so that people can be immunized against the COVID-19 irrespective of where they live.