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Coronavirus

G-7 weighs multibillion-dollar project for coronavirus vaccine

Oslo-based nonprofit CEPI seen as candidate to lead joint effort

Leading industrial nations do not want to wait for the private sector to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic, which has already claimed tens of thousands of lives. (Photo by Tomoki Mera) 

TOKYO -- Members of the Group of Seven are considering a plan to invest up to several billion dollars in a research organization to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

The G-7 wants to fund the nonprofit Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to speed development and introduction of a vaccine, bypassing the private sector completely.

Members of the Group of 20, including China and India, will also be asked to join the project.

The Norway-based CEPI is a joint public-private initiative that produces vaccines. The coalition was established in 2017 through funding provided by Japan and a number of European countries to develop vaccines for new infectious diseases that are capable of causing a pandemic, including Ebola virus.

G-7 ministers, central bank chiefs and financial ministers held teleconferences to discuss the project and agreed on the urgency of joint funding provided by advanced countries.

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