Global plan aims to make vaccines for future pandemics within 100 days

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UK chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance has held sessions between industry and experts to plan for the next pandemic

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The UK government and life science industry leaders have pledged to work towards a plan that could see vaccines ready in just 100 days in the event of a new pandemic.

Meeting the ambitious goal would involve new therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines against potential future diseases being part-developed before a fresh outbreak began, the UK’s Department of Health said.

It would require continued collaboration between companies, academic and medical researchers, regulators and global health bodies, the department added.

The UK government acknowledged that cutting the time to deliver vaccines from a little more than 300 days – the period in which this feat was achieved in 2020 – to just 100 days in any future pandemic situation would take such work to “the next level”.

Chief executives and representatives of firms including AstraZeneca, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline gave their support to the so-called 100 Days Mission set out by the Pandemic Preparedness Partnership, after discussions at the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting this week.

Lord Bethell, minister of innovation at the UK Department of Health, and the UK government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance held sessions between industry and experts to discuss how challenges around new diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines could be overcome.

“The first 100 days in a pandemic are crucial to changing the course of a disease,” said Vallance. “In those three months, diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines are key weapons.”

“Given the extent of the social, economic and health impacts caused by covid-19, the 100 Days Mission is rightly ambitious and sets a goal for us to which we can all aspire,” he said.

“Safe and highly effective vaccines have been delivered in record time, which is an incredible achievement, with life-saving jabs produced at scale and now being delivered to countries globally,” said UK health secretary Matt Hancock. “We are going to build on that with the 100 Days Mission. We are only going to get out of this global pandemic if the whole world is able to get out.”

The pandemic preparedness road map is due to be presented at the G7 leaders’ event in Cornwall, UK, on 11 June.

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