Public statement for collaboration on COVID-19 vaccine development

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,
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