This policy brief, written in March 2020, argues finance (rather than development of new vaccine technology) was likely to be the binding constraint on the timing of broad and equitable global availability of COVID-19 vaccines. Stemming from this, the paper argued there was an urgent need and opportunity for funders to accelerate vaccine availability through strategic – but relatively modest – investment targeting critical market failures.

This brief was written in March 2020 by Dr Sandy Douglas (a vaccinologist in the University’s Jenner Institute) and Dr Kate Orkin (an economist at the Blavatnik School of Government), with input from Professor Stefan Dercon (Director of the Centre for Study of African Economies) and Professor Adrian Hill (Director of the Jenner Institute). The ideas were developed in the last week of February 2020 and the written proposal evolved in discussion with entities in UK government and international donors over the following 10 days.

The authors wish to make the original note available in the public domain, alongside explanation of the context and ex-post reflections.