Leaders of the G7 group of wealthy democracies on Sunday pledged to send 870 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to developing countries over the next year.
The doses would be made available “as soon as possible”, with at least half by the end of the year, channeled through the COVAX vaccine sharing pool to “those who need them most,” the officials said. leaders in a statement at the end. from a summit in Cornwall, South West England.
The United States had already pledged 500 million doses, and another 100 million from the United Kingdom
The statement noted that donations made by governments since their last meeting in February provide for “a billion doses over the next year.”
The announcement comes as health officials sound the alarm bells about the lack of vaccine doses for the developing world. World Health Organization boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Saturday addressed G7 countries, noting that if they were successful in bringing the coronavirus pandemic under control, “many other countries are now facing an increase cases – and they face them without vaccines. ”
He said that to immunize 70 percent of the world’s population, a total of 11 billion doses would be needed.
G7 leaders have differed over whether or not to enforce intellectual property rights for vaccine patents. Some countries, including the United States and France, have expressed support for a waiver that would allow developing countries to use intellectual property for themselves. Others, like Germany and the United Kingdom, remain opposed to the measure – which is also that of the European Commission official position.
On Saturday, the G7 pledged to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines for the next pandemic – with the goal of getting vaccines out of the lab and approved in just 100 days, as part of plans presented by Melinda French Gates and Patrick Vallance, the UK’s Chief Science Officer. .