Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, and Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, have recently announced an investment of over CA$100 million to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Through this investment, Global Affairs Canada is providing CA$100 million to support CEPI’s new five-year strategic plan, CEPI 2.0, to help accelerate the development of vaccines and reduce the vaccine development time to 100 days for a range of known and emerging infectious diseases, including those with pandemic potential. It will also contribute to global equitable access to vaccines during outbreaks, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

This investment also supports a new partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and CEPI to provide CA$2.7 million in grant funding to five Canadian researchers to pursue projects that will help prepare for future epidemic and pandemic threats such as COVID-19, Lassa Fever, and Disease X — which represents unknown pathogens with pandemic potential.

The research projects will range from studying immune responses to enhance vaccine development, to using universal vaccine approaches to protect against future coronaviruses. They will also increase our understanding of vaccine challenges in low- and middle-income countries and build global capacity for vaccine safety evaluation.