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, and 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.
Signatories in alphabetical order
Randy A. Albrecht, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA Mohamad Assoum, Mercy Global Health Luigi Aurisicchio, on behalf of Takis Biotech, Italy Dan Barouch, Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, USA Trevor Brasel, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB), USA Jennifer L Bath, ImmunoPrecise Antibodies, Canada Sina Bavari, Edge BioInnovation Consulting and Management, USA Maria Elena Bottazzi, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA Gerhard Beck, Austrian Medicines and Medical Devices, Austria Tom Brady, Flow Pharma Inc, USA Kate Broderick, Inovio, USA Will Brown, Altimmune Inc, USA Scot Bryson, Orbital Farm, Canada Ricardo Carrión, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, USA Miles Carroll, Public Health England, UK Keith Chappell, University of Queensland, Australia Daniel S. Chertow, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Sandra Cordo, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina Wian de Jongh, on behalf of the Prevent n-CoV consortium (AdaptVac, ExpreS2ion, Copenhagen University, Leiden University Medical Centre, Wageningen University and Tubingen University) Natalie Dean, University of Florida, USA Rafael Delgado, Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Spain Dimiter Dimitrov David A. Dodd, GeoVax, Inc., USA Paul Duprex, Center for Vaccine Research, University of Pittsburgh, USA Luis Enjuanes; Centro Nacional Biotecnología, Spain Jeremy Farrar, Josie Golding, Charlie Weller, on behalf of Wellcome Trust, UK Mark Feinberg, Swati Gupta and Ripley Ballou, on behalf of IAVI, USA Antonella Folgori, on behalf of ReiThera, Italy Thomas Friedrich, University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, USA Simon Funnel, Public Health England, UK Luc Gagnon, Nexelis, Canada Adolfo Garcia-Sastre, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA Vipin Garg, Altimmune Inc., USA Volker Gerdts, on behalf of VIDO-Intervac, University of Saskatchewan, Canada Nora Gerhards, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, The Netherlands Christiane Gerke, Head of Vaccine Programs/Head of Vaccine Innovation Development, Institut Pasteur, France Carlo Giaquinto, Department of Women and Child Health, University of Padova, Italy Prakash Ghimire, Tribhuvan University, Nepal Nikolaj Gilbert, Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), USA Sarah Gilbert, University of Oxford, UK Marion F. Gruber, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Farshad Guirakhoo,GeoVax Inc, USA Bart L Haagmans, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands M. Elizabeth Halloran,Center for Inference and Dynamics of Infectious Diseases, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and University of Washington, USA Scott Harris, Altimmune Inc, USA Hideki Hasegawa, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan Richard Hatchett, on behalf of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Norway James Hayward, Applied DNA Sciences, USA Sheri Ann Hild Peter Hotez, Baylor College of Medicine, USA Youngmee Jee, Seoul National University, College of Medicine, Republic of Korea Charu Kaushic,Institute of Infection and Immunity, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CHIR), Government of Canada Alyson A. Kelvin, Dalhousie University, Canada Larry D. Kerr, Office of Global Affairs, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Bernard Kerscher, PEI, Germany Jae-Ouk Kim, International Vaccine Institute, Republic of Korea Seungtaek Kim, Institut Pasteur Korea, Republic of Korea Jason Kindrachuk, University of Manitoba, Canada Otfried Kistner, Senior Consultant and Independent Vaccine Expert, Austria Gary Kobinger, Université Laval, Canada Marion Koopmans, Viroscience Department, Erasmus Medical Centre, The Netherlands Philip R. Krause, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Greg Kulnis, Nexelis, Canada Paul Henri Lambert, Centre of Vaccinology, University of Geneva, Switzerland Nathalie Landry, Medicago Inc., Canada Roger Le Grand, Inserm-CEA-Université Paris Saclay, France Robin Levis, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Mark G Lewis, Bioqual Inc, USA Joshua Liang, Clover Biopharmaceuticals, China Jinzhong Lin, on behalf of Fudan University, China Ira Longini, University of Florida, USA Shabir Madhi, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Jessica E. Manning, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Peter Marks, Director, on behalf of Food and Drug Administration/Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Hilary D. Marston, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Federico Martinón-Torres, Hospital Clínico Universitario de Santiago de Compostela, Spain Sebastian Maurer-Stroh, on behalf of the GISAID Initiative John W. Mellors, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, USA Ali Mirazimi, Department of Laboratory medicin, Karolinska institutet, Sweden Kayvon Modjarrad, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, USA Stefan O. Mueller, CureVac, Germany Vincent J. Munster, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA César Muñoz-Fontela, Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine, Germany Aysegul Nalca, U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), USA José Manuel Ochoa, Altimmune Inc., USA Dave O’Connor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA Lidia Oostvogels, CureVac, Germany Nisreen M. A. Okba, Erasmus Medical Center, The Netherlands L. Jean Patterson, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Joe Payne, on behalf of Arcturus Therapeutics Jonathan Pearce, on behalf of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Medical Research Council (MRC), UK Stanley Perlman, University of Iowa, USA Margaret Louise Pitt, WRAIR/ U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), USA Anuradha Poonepalli, Health Products Regulation Group, Health Sciences Authority, Singapore Dieter Pullirsch, Austrian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency, Austria Damian Purcell, Doherty Institute, Australia Chuan Qin, Institute of Laboratory Animal Sciences (ILAS), CAMS & PUMC, China Angela Rasmussen, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, USA Scott Roberts, Altimmune Inc., USA Estefania Rodriguez, Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Germany Ted M Ross, Center for Vaccines and Immunology, University of Georgia, USA Chad J Roy, Tulane National Primate Research Center and Tulane School of Medicine, USA Reid Rubsamen, Flow Pharma Inc, USA Anna Laura Salvati, Italy Andrew Satz, EVQLV Inc, USA Hanneke Schuitemaker and Johan Van Hoof, on behalf of Janssen Pharmaceuticals Companies of Johnson & Johnson, USA Robert Shattock, Imperial College, UK John Shriver, Sanofi, USA Gale Smith, Novavax Inc. USA Peter Smith, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK Isabel Sola, Centro Nacional Biotecnología, Spain James Southern, Adviser to South African Health Products Regulatory Authority Jonathan M Spergel, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, USA Sybil Tasker, Codagenix Inc, USA Chien-Te Kent Tseng, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response/Biodefense Advanced Research and Development Authority U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Jean Marie Vianney Habarugira, on behalf of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) Veronika von Messling, on behalf of German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, Germany Tony T. Wang, Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, USA Jeffrey Wolf, Heat Biologics Inc, USA Ningshao Xia, Xiamen University of China, China Yingjie Xu, on behalf of Shanghai Jiaotong University, China Paul R Young, University of Queensland, Australia Hang Yu, on behalf of Shanghai RNACure, China Xuefeng Yu, CanSino Biologics, China Tal Zaks, on behalf of Moderna, USA Peter Daszak, President, EcoHealth Alliance, New York, USA