PM Global Vaccine Summit Closing Remarks: 4 June 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson closes the Global Vaccine Summit hosted by the UK.
As we bring this summit to a conclusion, let me thank you all for the generosity of your contributions today.
Together, we have replenished this alliance, securing – and I’m the lucky one that gets to make the big announcement – a fantastic $8.8bn for Gavi’s vital work over the next five years.
And I want to say a particular thank you to Bill and Melinda Gates for their generosity, their philanthropy, yet again, and their continued leadership in humanity’s battle against disease.
Our ancestors had to live with the unavoidable reality that killer pathogens could at any time strike down their children, imposing an incalculable burden of sorrow.
Yet, today, thanks to the ingenuity of Edward Jenner, a British doctor from Gloucestershire who pioneered the world’s first vaccine, the simple act of inoculating our children can save lives many times over.
People who are vaccinated protect themselves and the rest of the population by lowering the spread and risk of infection.
Gavi’s work on routine immunisation is the strongest shield against outbreaks of infectious diseases, and so it is that our collective efforts at this Summit will now save up to 8 million lives.
Our actions – your actions - will also support healthcare systems in the world’s poorest countries, which are increasingly victims of coronavirus.
So today, as we make the choice to unite and forge a path of global co-operation, let us also renew our collective resolve to find the vaccine that can in the end defeat coronavirus.
For our part, the UK has already committed up to £764 million for the global coronavirus response.
And I’m proud to say that some of the most promising research into vaccines is happening here, supported by our Vaccine Taskforce.
We are pioneering the innovative collaborations that will be needed to manufacture and distribute a vaccine, once found, like the partnership between AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
So as we conclude today, let us unite to stop a disease like coronavirus causing such devastation ever again.
Just as we have great military alliances like NATO – and I hope that those of you not in NATO know what I mean - where countries collaborate on building their collective military defence, so we now need that same spirit of collaboration and collective defence against the common enemy of disease.
It will require a new international effort to co-operate on the surveillance and sharing of information that can underpin a global alert system so we can rapidly identify any future outbreak.
And it will need a radical scaling up of our global capacity to respond, exactly as Bill [Gates] has set out.
So just as Britain has been honoured to host this summit today, you can count on our full contribution as together we rise to fulfil the greatest shared endeavour of our lifetimes: the triumph of humanity over disease, now and for the generations that follow.