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Wellcome Trust Spending Boost

The Wellcome Trust is to increase its scientific research spending to £16 billion ($22 billion) over the next 10 years, the Financial Times reports.

According to FT, the charity spent £9 billion on research during the past decade, including £1.2 billion in the last year. It adds that, fueled by its financial investments, the Wellcome Trust has it increased its total funds by £8.4 billion to £36.2 billion.

As part of its increased spending, the Wellcome Trust is to focus on the development of next-generation vaccines for COVID-19, the Guardian adds. Jeremy Farrar, the director of the charity, tells it that COVID-19 is likely to be with humanity for years and possibly forever. "What we need to do is have a vaccine that can be stored at room temperature, gives you long-lasting, multi-year protection, prevents transmission, and stops you getting sick," he says, according to the Guardian.

Farrar adds there that while global distribution of vaccines has been "awful," he is hopeful that as manufacturing ramps up, the World Health Organization goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the world population may be reached by the middle of the year.