UK joins Europe-led vaccine effort
The UK has pledged £388 million toward a European initiative to raise €7.5 billion [£6.6 billion] in funds for a Covid-19 vaccine.
Funds raised by the initiative will go toward vaccine research, testing and treatment.
EU leaders, including Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel, signed a joint open letter pledging their support for the project, which is being headed by Brussels.
The letter said that funds put into the project would "kickstart an unprecedented global co-operation between scientists and regulators, industry and governments, international organisations, foundations and healthcare professionals.”
It continued: "If we can develop a vaccine that is produced by the world, for the whole world, this will be a unique global public good of the 21st Century.”
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen outlined the scheme on Friday last week, ahead of an online conference scheduled for Monday this week.
Prime minister Boris Johnson will participate in the remote conference and set out the UK’s pledge.