Coronavirus: Belgium pours €5 million into efforts to fast-track vaccine
Share article:
Share article:

Coronavirus: Belgium pours €5 million into efforts to fast-track vaccine

Image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow)—the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the US, emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in a lab. Credit: NIAID-RML (CC BY 2.0)

Belgium has pledged €5 million to boost efforts by international researchers racing to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

The funds will be made available to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an international public-private partnership set up in 2017 to accelerate the development of vaccines and ensure “equitable access” to them.

Belgium’s contribution to CEPI comes after the research group issued an urgent call for $2 billion in donations in mid-March as it announced efforts to develop at least three candidate vaccines to fight the new coronavirus.

Related News:


In an online statement on Monday, CEPI said that the lockdown measures taken by governments to stem the spread of the virus among populations were “starting to have an effect,” but that developing a vaccine remained vital.

“Our only sure-fire way to end to this pandemic is to rapidly develop a safe, effective, and globally accessible vaccine. Our goal is to deliver a safe and effective vaccine within 12-18 months.”

According to a statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Alexandre De Croo, the money will be used to finance clinical studies and to boost production capacity at a global level.

“CEPI’s ambition is to carry out clinical trials within four months. This is significantly shorter than usual. We have no time to lose,” De Croo said in the statement.

Together with Canada, Belgium is the latest nation to provide funding to the international research coalition, CEPI said on Monday.

The Canadian government’s announced a contribution of CA$40 million, around €26 million, CEPI said.

Both countries’ donations come after announced contributions by Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway and the UK have brought up the total amount pledged by national governments to over US$690 million.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Masks reintroduced indoors, teleworking encouraged
Masks will again be mandatory inside shops and other indoor public spaces, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced in a press conference on ...
Belgium intends to activate the pandemic law, says Health Minister
"We intend to activate the pandemic law," Public Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke confirmed on Tuesday in the House committee, ahead of Tuesday's ...
Offers for fake Covid Safe Tickets circulating on social media
As the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) becomes mandatory in many places across Belgium, offers for forgeries are increasingly circulating on social media. ...
EU auditors: More worried about the future budget than about pervasive errors in the 2020 budget
The European Court of Auditors (ECA) have signed off the 2020 EU accounts as giving a true and fair view of the union’s financial position but like ...
Belgium aims to tackle sexual violence with video interrogations
The federal government is looking to tackle sexual violence and increase convictions connected to this crime by relying more heavily on video ...
Duvel celebrates 150th anniversary with special brew in commemorative bottle
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the release of a special brew in a commemorative bottle shaped like its ...
Pollution scandal: 3M to show emissions don’t pose risk or halt production
Flanders has ordered American company 3M, involved in a pollution scandal in Antwerp, to prove that emissions linked to its production activities do ...
The Netherlands fears a greater rise in sea levels than forecast
Sea levels could rise by up to two metres by 2100 on the Dutch coastline – far more than previously forecast – according to an announcement from the ...
The Smurfs return to Belgian TV with the first new show since 1989
A new Smurfs show is bringing the characters of Belgium's second-most-famous comic franchise back to the small screen with their first new series, 30 ...
On this day in Brussels: An entrepreneurial journey begins
The Rue Dansaert was just beginning to become trendy when Alain Coumont opened his first bakery here on 26 October 1990. He started by baking big ...
Almost half of Belgian subsidies from EU left unused
Belgium left almost half (49%) of its subsidies allocated by the European Union between 2013 and 2020 unused, the equivalent of around €1.375 ...
Visitors to embark on Orient Express adventure at Brussels exhibition
An exhibition dedicated to the Orient Express – the train that was the scene for many novels, including Agatha Christie's – allows visitors to ...