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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The leaders of nations, banks and organizations gathered Monday via video conference for a European Union-led summit, collectively pledging 7.4 billion euros ($8 billion) toward research for a coronavirus vaccine, AP reports.

Why it matters: The U.S. was noticeably absent, despite appearances from the "heads of state and government from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, Jordan, South Africa and Turkey spoke at the event, along with China’s EU ambassador" among the many European participants.

  • A senior administration official said on a State Department press call that the administration's "cooperation with European partners continues to be extremely robust, as it is with partners around the world."
  • The official also added that the U.S. "[welcomes] EU efforts to secure pledges for additional contributions to combat this pandemic. Many of the organizations and programs this pledging conference seeks to support already received very significant funding and support from the U.S. government and private sector."

The big picture: A coronavirus vaccine isn't likely to be available until mid-2021, at the earliest. But even if a viable vaccine is developed under the quickest timeline, there isn't expected to be enough doses for all individuals at the outset

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said during Monday's call: "To reach everyone, everywhere, we likely need five times" the $8 billion pledged.
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the effort "will help kick-start unprecedented global cooperation."

Go deeper

Aug 12, 2020 - Health

Fauci says he "seriously" doubts Russia's coronavirus vaccine is safe

NIAID director Anthony Fauci testifies during a July congressional hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Kevin DietschI/AFP via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci cast doubt during a National Geographic discussion due to air this week on the effectiveness of Russia's registered coronavirus vaccine touted by President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "Having a vaccine ... and proving that a vaccine is safe and effective are two different things," Fauci told told ABC News' Deborah Roberts in the discussion, expected to air on Thursday. His comments add to the weight of skepticism from scientists around the world on the Russia vaccine. There is no published scientific to support support Putin's claims.

Aug 11, 2020 - Health

Trump administration buys 100 million doses of Moderna's vaccine

A volunteer in Moderna's vaccine clinical trial receives a shot. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. government has agreed to buy 100 million doses of Moderna's experimental coronavirus vaccine for $1.5 billion, or $15 per dose.

Why it matters: The Trump administration, through Operation Warp Speed, has now bought initial batches of vaccines from Moderna, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca before knowing whether they are safe and effective. The federal government also appears to own some of the patent rights associated with Moderna's vaccine.

Aug 11, 2020 - Podcasts

Russia’s vaccine gamble

Russia announced Tuesday that it approved a vaccine for COVID-19 and has plans to inoculate health care workers, teachers and others in the coming months, despite barely starting Phase 3 clinical trials.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the ramifications of this announcement for the global vaccine race with Derek Lowe, medicinal chemist, author and expert on drug development and the pharmaceutical industry.