The British Government yesterday announced Rs. 10 million in new funding to support vital immunology research between scientists at the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford and the University of Sri Jayewardenepura who are studying the immune response of Covid-19 patients in different populations.

The announcement came on the day that the UK hosted the Global Vaccine Summit on 4 June, bringing together leaders from around the world at a virtual event to pledge their support to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The Global Vaccine Summit aimed to help Gavi save up to 8 million lives over the next five years and to protect 300 million more children against infectious diseases like measles. The Global Vaccine Summit raised US$8.8 billion from 32 donor governments, 12 foundations, corporations and organisations, far exceeding the US$7.4 billion target.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who  participated in the Summit took part in a panel discussion on the importance of sustaining vital immunization during pandemics, the British  High Commission in Colombo said in a news release.

“ Gavi is a crucial partner in the fight against infectious diseases globally, including coronavirus. With the support of UK aid, Gavi has immunized over 760 million children in the world’s poorest countries, saving more than 133 million lives. It is critical that we maintain routine immunization during the coronavirus pandemic to stop the spread of infectious diseases and the resurgence of other pandemics. The UK is proud to be Gavi’s leading donor, and on 29 April our International Development Secretary pledged the equivalent of £330 million a year over the next five years,” the HC said.