Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy supports financing for Finnish vaccine development – project to study launch of vaccine production
On 22 June, the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy gave its support for the Finnish Government’s participation in financing domestic vaccine development and production. The Committee justified its support based on innovation and business policy and financial security of supply.
According to a proposal by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Business Finland would contribute to the financing of domestic vaccine development in line with the current financing guidelines. This means that the financing of clinical trials would continue in line with the current guidelines and that phase 3 studies would not receive significant public investments at this time.
In addition, the National Emergency Supply Agency will launch and resource a study to explore a potential development project that would boost national vaccination production capacity and improve the long-term availability of pandemic vaccines. The project would subsequently be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The funding required to implement the development project would be agreed on separately at a later date in line with the conclusions of the study.
In addition, Finland would participate in Nordic research into the joint development and production of pandemic vaccines and link its national development activities to this work as necessary.
Not a quick solution to the current situation, but justified from the perspective of preparedness for future pandemics
Domestic vaccine development and production will not solve the current challenges related to the availability of COVID-19 vaccines in the short term. That said, support for development work is justified from the viewpoint of innovation and business policy. It is very important to invest in the development of domestic vaccine infrastructure and expertise.
Further studies and potential financing of domestic vaccine production in the long term are crucial for security of supply and preparedness for future pandemics.
Furthermore, investing in vaccine research and development during the current pandemic is essential for our ability to prepare for and respond to new virus variants. At least two projects are under way in Finland to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
On 27 May 2021, the Government submitted its third supplementary budget proposal for 2021 to Parliament. The Government proposes allocating EUR 3,000,000 and an increase of EUR 6,000,000 under item 32.20.40 (Support for research, development and innovation activities) for the implementation of the health sector growth strategy and to support the vaccine ecosystem.
Inquiries: Jenny Hasu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Economic Affairs, tel. +358 40 658 3510, Timo Nevaranta, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 50 574 1430, and Ilona Lundström, Director General, tel. +358 29 504 7186, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment