Billionaires and Multinationals are funding the development of a Coronavirus vaccine.

There was Ebola, after came Zika and now the whole world has to deal with ‘2019-nCoV” known as Coronavirus. There are currently about 6,065 confirmed infections, and 132 people have died of nCov in China thus far. The virus that originated in Wuhan has since spread to other parts of the world, keeping governments and scientists on their toes to avoid an uncontrollable pandemic.

Chinese health officials shared the genetic makeup of the virus on a public database on January 10th. This helped scientists determine where the virus came from, how it mutates as the outbreak develops, and how to protect people against it. Many labs worldwide are currently trying to crack the code for both treatment and preventive measures including the U.S. government. According to CNBC, the goal is to launch a clinical trial in three months. While that seems like a long time compared to how quickly the viral outbreak emerged and became a point of global concern, it’s far quicker than the typical process of developing and testing a new pharmaceutical.

Scientists believe if the vaccine development proves successful, it can prevent the virus from being able to get into the cells it attempts to invade. According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the N.I.H: “If we don’t run into any unforeseen obstacles, we’ll be able to get a Phase 1 trial going within the next three months, which will be record speed.”


Even though the approval and funding processes for development of the vaccine seems fast-tracked, it must be rigorously tested for both safety and efficacy in clinical trials. This could still be a year or more before consumers are able to access it, but the most important thing is that a cure is found. Until then, protect yourself and loved ones at all costs.


Jack Ma, Alibaba founder and China’s richest man, has donated $14.4 million through his foundation to help develop a vaccine. He’s also establishing a $144 million fund to help Wuhan hospitals buy needed medical supplies.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced it would commit $10 million to aid first responders in China and Africa. Including $5 million for international cooperation, treatment and vaccine development. 

Baidu, Tencent and ByteDance, the company behind TikTok, together pledged $115 million to research new treatments and help authorities in the most affected areas.

Huawei has contributed to the construction of Huoshenshan Hospital, a new emergency facility that’s being built in Wuhan

LVMH, headed by French billionaire Bernard Arnault, the world’s third richest person has pledged $2.3 million to fight the virus.

Luxury firm Kering, founded by French billionaire Francois Pinault also pledged $1 million.

Large multinationals in the U.S. and Europe — including Microsoft, Dell, L’Oreal and Cargill; have collectively donated roughly $1.4 million to the Chinese Red Cross and authorities in Hubei province battling the epidemic. 

AppleCEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to announce that the organisation will be donating to groups on the ground helping support all of those affected.

Richard Ogundiya

Journalist & Techpreneur. Africa, communications and data.

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