COVID-Zero FAQs

COVID-Zero is a global initiative launched by Wellcome to encourage businesses to donate to COVID-19 research and development.

1. What do you want the private sector to do as part of the COVID-Zero coalition?

There is an urgent $8 billion cash shortfall that is needed immediately to ensure that all the research that will enable us to test, treat and prevent COVID-19 can be fully and swiftly funded.  

We want businesses to collectively fund $1 billion of this shortfall. As a coalition, we will then advocate for governments to fund the remainder. 

2. Where are donations being directed and do businesses get to choose the organisation they donate to?

Donations are being directed to four organisations. Your business can choose which organisation you’d like to donate to, and we will connect you with the relevant partner or mechanism for donating.

3. Which private sector companies are you working with and how are you approaching them?

We are currently talking to leaders of large international businesses who can access significant funding quickly and want to help solve this crisis and return business and society to normal as soon as possible. 

We are individually engaging with businesses within our networks. But we are eager to hear from any organisation that would like to donate.

Email covidzero@wellcome.ac.uk to find out more about how to support.

4. Given the economic impact of COVID-19, why are you targeting businesses?

Times are hard for everyone, but by pulling together to support the science, we can get the world back in business. Many businesses are putting huge resources into handling the crisis in the short term, establishing commendable programmes to support their staff and local communities at a time of hardship and uncertainty.  

But there will be future waves of the pandemic, and we also want businesses to look ahead and help fund the end solution to this crisis. Helping to fund $1 billion of the initial $8 billion shortfall will contribute to developing vaccines, tests and treatments quicker – and this will get the global economy back on its feet again faster than anything else.  

5. Shouldn’t this funding gap be closed by governments and philanthropy?

This funding gap cannot be filled by one organisation or one sector alone. We need philanthropy, governments and the private sector to come together to close the gap.

6. Will donors receive early access to results as part of the coalition? 

Partners will not have priority access to vaccines, treatments or tests as a result of their donation.