Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Science & Tech
  2. Coronavirus
22 April 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

British pharmaceutical boss to lead WHO vaccine task force

By Samuel Horti

A British pharmaceutical expert has been chosen to lead a global United Nations (UN) task force designed to speed up the manufacturing and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine.

Sir Andrew Witty, former chief executive of the GlaxoSmithKline, will lead the body, which will focus on ensuring a vaccine is fairly distributed throughout the world. It is being set up through the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO), but may be operately independently if needed.

The WHO estimates 70 vaccine candiates are being developed globally, and that five are in clinical trials. That includes the vaccine developed through the University of Oxford’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, which will begin human trials later this week. 

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How do we secure the hybrid office?
How materials innovation can help achieve net zero and level-up the UK
Fantastic mental well-being strategies and where to find them