Doctors Without Borders (MSF) yesterday sent an open letter to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) expressing concerns about recent revisions to its equitable access policy that it says weakens guarantees that countries can buy vaccines developed with CEPI support at an affordable price.

In a statement today, CEPI said its commitment to access hasn’t changed, but the earlier draft of the policy was overly prescriptive and has been a barrier to potential partners.

MSF sent the letter to CEPI ahead of its board meeting in Tokyo, slated for Mar 7 and 8, and the letter was signed by Joanne Liu, MD, MSF’s international president, and Els Torreele, PhD, executive director of the MSF Access Campaign. The group has been instrumental in pushing for affordable access to vaccines, waging a 7-year campaign that led to lower-priced pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) for developing countries that incorporate it into their childhood vaccination campaigns.

CEPI was founded in 2017 in the wake of West Africa’s Ebola outbreak as a novel way to fund and speed the development of new vaccine candidates against emerging infectious diseases, especially three priority ones: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Nipah virus, and Lassa virus. It is supported by the governments of Norway, Germany, India, Japan, Belgium, Canada, and Australia, plus groups including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, World Economic Forum, Medical Research Future Fund, and European Commission.

So far, CEPI has funded 21 vaccines, and its investments have totaled $350 million over the past year.

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Read more at CIDRAP…

See also:

Mar 5 MSF open letter

Mar 6 CEPI response

CEPI equitable access policy