Finland is committed to international vaccine research to develop a coronavirus vaccine

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 16.4.2020 15.12 | Published in English on 17.4.2020 at 11.54
Press release 97/2020

The Finnish Government is supporting the development of a coronavirus vaccine with EUR 5 million. The funding will be targeted at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI). In the same connection, Finland will join the two international non-profit organisations.

Finland will join the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations based on a decision by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. 

The application to accede to the treaty of the International Vaccine Institute was discussed in a government plenary session on 16 April, and the President of the Republic is to approve the application on 17 April. This will be followed by a government proposal to Parliament. 

Finland is supporting vaccine development with EUR 5 million 

On 12 March, the Finnish Government made a decision to support the work of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) and the International Vaccine Institute (IVI) to develop a coronavirus vaccine. 

EUR 4 million is granted to CEPI and EUR 1 million to IVI.

Currently, there is no vaccine or pharmacotherapy to the disease caused by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). In practice, the development of a vaccine is the only way to stop the spread of the virus. Dozens of teams worldwide are working toward vaccine options. 

The development of vaccines will be followed by the production and distribution of the vaccines which is also a challenging task. The need for vaccines is enormous and the disease situation varies between different countries. Finland considers it important that the availability of safe, high-quality and affordable vaccines be safeguarded in all countries. 

Membership increases Finland’s opportunities to influence international vaccine development

Through membership of the international organisations, Finland has an opportunity to influence international vaccine development to end the COVID-19 Pandemic and prepare for future threats.

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation will provide the project funding, support vaccine research and development, and strengthen production capacity. The International Vaccine Institute participates in international cooperation in the fields of vaccine research, product development and capacity building especially in the developing countries. 

The International Vaccine Institute has also participated in the development of vaccines against gastrointestinal diseases caused by bacteria, such as typhoid fever and cholera, and in the examination of their effectives in meeting the needs of people in poor countries. 

The Institute has extended its involvement to include R&D on Shigella and MERS vaccines and assessment of the burden caused by these diseases. Based on its experience with the MERS vaccine, the Institute is now carrying out development work on a vaccine against the COVID-19 disease. 

In addition to vaccines and medicines, we need long-term global action to improve health safety preparedness. 

Investments in healthcare systems and intersectoral cooperation in all countries play a key role in preparing for cross-border threats that affect health. 

Inquiries:

Päivi Sillanaukee, Director General, [email protected]
Ms Outi Kuivasniemi, Senior Ministerial Adviser for International Affairs, tel. +358 295 163 117, [email protected]