Von der Leyen announces May 4 coronavirus vaccine pledging conference

The European Commission will host a virtual pledging conference on May 4 to raise money to fill “immediate funding gaps” in vaccine research, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday.

While unveiling the Commissions exit strategy, von der Leyen stressed the need for international cooperation in defeating the virus. Her announcement comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S. will suspend funding to the World Health Organization (WHO).

One key element in the fight against coronavirus is accelerating the diagnostics, treatments and development of a vaccine — followed by “the deployment of a vaccine all over the world,” von der Leyen said.

“This is our collective best shot at beating the virus,” she added.

The pledging conference will be hosted by the Commission, with the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI); Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Wellcome Trust; and the Gates Foundation.

The Commission is also working closely with the WHO, von der Leyen said.

“I hope countries and organizations all over the world will respond to this call,” she said.

When asked for more details later, a Commission official said €8 billion is needed to “take care of alRead More – Source

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