CORNWALL, UK – On the Thursday before the opening Friday of the G-7 summit in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the group is ready to donate one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries.
Johnson’s announcement came after US President Joe Biden said earlier in the day that his administration was donating 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, half of the G-7 vaccine trove.
“Together with our global partners, we are going to help the world get out of this pandemic,” Biden said.
Britain will donate 100 million shots.
“As a result of the success of the UK vaccine programme, we are now in a position to share some of our additional doses with those who need them,” Johnson said. “In doing so, we will take a big step towards defeating this pandemic forever.”
US shots will begin shipment in August “as soon as they roll off the manufacturing line,” Biden said in Cornwall on Thursday, with 200 million doses to be delivered by the end of this year and 300 million in the first half of 2022. .
Biden said the donation would be made without any strings attached.
“Our vaccine donation does not involve pressure for favors or potential concessions. We are doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic,” he said.
Pfizer CEO Albert Boerla, joined Biden for the announcement.
Borla said, “We are testing the response of our vaccines to newly generated variants, noting that so far not a single variant has escaped the protection provided by the vaccine.
With the pledge, America aims to rid itself of the uncomfortable reputation of being a vaccine hoarder.
The move is a sign that the US is “not that narrow and internally focused,” said Leslie Vinzamuri, director of programs for America and America at Chatham House. In the early months of former President Donald Trump’s administration as well as the Biden administration, when Washington was not sharing doses despite massive supplies, Vinjamuri said, this has been a deep concern globally.
dosage, COVAX. delivered by America through, the United Nations Vaccine-Sharing Mechanism, in addition to the 80 million to be distributed by the US by the end of June. Apart from this, the US has given 2 billion dollars to COVAX.
The US initially pledged an additional $2 billion for COVAX, but is now redirecting the money to help pay for the donated 500 million doses, which are estimated to cost $3.5 billion.
Humanitarian organizations lauded the move.
Tom Hart, executive CEO of One Campaign, an organization working to end poverty and preventable diseases, said in a statement, “This action is a step forward in helping the world fight this pandemic and America’s immense power.” sends an incredibly powerful message about commitment. global leadership. “
However, it is not clear how much G-7 countries can help. Member countries are in various stages of vaccinating their populations. Japan and Canada, which have vaccination rates of less than 10%, are not in a position to be as generous.
In addition to donating vaccines, the G-7 is also under pressure to waive vaccine patents. The US has supported the so-called TRIPS exemption, a waiver of intellectual property rights on vaccines, at the World Trade Organization. However, the EU is pushing for a different proposal, mandatory licensing to scale up vaccine production.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told the Granthshala that differing perspectives in the G-7 would not be subject to controversy.
“I look forward to convergence, as we all converge around the idea that we need to boost the supply of the vaccine in a number of ways,” Sullivan said.
Chatham House’s Vinjamuri said the Biden administration knows Europe will remain firm on not supporting the exemption, adding that getting all WTO members to agree on an exemption is a long and challenging process, and donating vaccines is easy. By allowing countries to produce them without fear of lawsuits.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the Granthshala that the US would continue WTO talks but did not provide details about whether Biden would put his diplomatic weight behind it at the G-7.
Ahead of his vaccine announcement, Biden met with Johnson on Thursday, with whom he has had differences in the past. Biden once called Johnson a clone of Trump.
the leaders agreed a new atlantic charter, then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and then US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941 to promote democracy and free trade, which was instrumental in shaping the world order after World War II.
The Atlantic Charter of 2021 underscores that, with common values and combined strength, the two countries will work together to address the enormous challenges facing the world – from COVID and climate change to maintaining global security.
Irish-born Biden also worries Brexit could weaken good friday agreement, a 1998 deal facilitated by the United States that brought peace to Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK
Under the Brexit deal, Northern Ireland remains a party to the EU Single Market, yet is no longer part of the Union, meaning a customs limit must be applied. The Biden administration wants to ensure that nothing in Brexit jeopardizes the prospects for peace.
Biden’s support for the Good Friday agreement is “rock-solid,” Sullivan told Granthshala.
“That agreement must be preserved, and any move that jeopardizes or undermines it will not be welcomed by the United States,” Sullivan said. He would not say whether Johnson is undermining the agreement.
Vinjamuri said that despite these tensions, Biden remains committed to strengthening the G-7 in the US-UK partnership. “Using America’s deep and historical relationship with Britain to truly reaffirm the values of democracy, liberalism, freedom.”
Johnson’s government has just concluded an integrated review of its foreign policy strategy, which includes reaffirming the special relationship between the two allies.