Campaigners said Friday that Seven’s plan to donate 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries lacks ambition, is too slow and shows that Western leaders are yet to tackle the worst public health crisis in a century. are not in the works. .
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he expects G7 leaders to agree on donations as part of a plan to vaccinate the world’s nearly 8 billion people against the coronavirus by the end of next year.
After US President Joe Biden vowed to supercharge the fight against the virus with a donation of 500 million Pfizer shots, Johnson said Britain would deliver at least 100 million vaccines within a year.
Canada is expected to commit to sharing up to 100 million doses. Others can keep the vows.
But health and anti-poverty campaigners said that, while the donation was a step in the right direction, Western leaders had failed to understand the extraordinary efforts needed to beat the virus. He said that help in distribution is also necessary.
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has been pushing for wealthy countries to share more of the cost of vaccination to developing countries, said the G7 pledges were more like “crossing the begging bowl” than a real solution. She was
“It’s a catastrophic failure if we can’t get away in the next week or two … with a plan that really rid the world of COVID, now we’ve got a vaccine,” he told Reuters .
Alex Harris at Wellcome, a London-based science and health charitable foundation, said the pledges didn’t go far enough.
“The world needs a vaccine now, not later this year. At this historic moment, the G7 must show the political leadership our crisis demands,” Harris said. “We urge G7 leaders to raise their ambitions.”
The race to end the pandemic that has killed nearly 3.9 million people and sowed social and economic destruction will figure prominently in the three-day summit, which began on Friday at the English seaside resort of Corbys Bay.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab warned that other countries are using vaccines as diplomatic tools to safe effect. Britain and the United States said their donation would come without any strings attached.
COVID-19 has ripped through the global economy, with infections reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
As most people need two vaccine doses and possibly booster shots to combat the emerging forms, campaigners said world leaders need to go much further and much faster.
“If the G7’s best leaders can donate 1 billion vaccine doses, this summit will fail,” said Oxfam health policy manager Anna Marriott, adding that the world needs 11 billion to end the pandemic. dosage will be required.
Vaccination efforts have so far been heavily correlated with funding: the United States, Europe, Israel and Bahrain are far ahead of other countries. A total of 2.2 billion people have been vaccinated, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Oxfam also called on G7 leaders to support the exemption on intellectual property behind vaccines.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said intellectual property rights should not hinder access to vaccines during the pandemic, backing Biden on the subject.
But the pharmaceutical industry has opposed it, saying it would stifle innovation and would do nothing to increase supply. Britain, which has backed Oxford-AstraZeneca’s not-for-profit shot, has said a patent exemption is not necessary.
Of the 100 million British shots, 80 million will go to the World Health Organization (WHO)-led COVAX program and the rest will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
Johnson called on his fellow leaders to make similar pledges and for pharmaceutical companies to embrace the non-profit model during the pandemic. Will be supplied at the expense of US Pfizer donations.
Large-scale vaccination against the novel coronavirus is seen as critical to restoring economic growth and preventing the virus from further mutating that can evade vaccines.
The British dose will be drawn from stock it has already purchased for its domestic program, and will come from suppliers Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNtech, Johnson & Johnson’s Jensen, Moderna and others.
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