On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was informed of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Chinese authorities identified the SARS-CoV-2 as the causative virus on 7 January 2020. The disease was named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by WHO on 11 February 2020. As part of WHO’s response to the outbreak, a Research and Development (R&D) Blueprint has been activated. To accelerate the development of diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus.
Under WHO’s coordination, a group of experts with diverse backgrounds is working towards the development of vaccines against COVID-19.
The group makes a call to everyone to follow recommendations to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and protect the health of individuals. The group also thanks everyone for putting their trust in the scientific community.
We are scientists, physicians, funders and manufacturers who have come together as part of an international collaboration, coordinated by the World Health Organization (WHO), to help speed the availability of a vaccine against COVID-19.
While a vaccine for general use takes time to develop, a vaccine may ultimately be instrumental in controlling this worldwide pandemic. In the interim, we applaud the implementation of community intervention measures that reduce spread of the virus and protect people, including vulnerable populations, and pledge to use the time gained by the widespread adoption of such measures to develop a vaccine as rapidly as possible. We will continue efforts to strengthen the unprecedented worldwide collaboration, cooperation and sharing of data already underway. We believe these efforts will help reduce inefficiencies and duplication of effort, and we will work tenaciously to increase the likelihood that one or more safe and effective vaccines will soon be made available to all.