The leaders of the G7 group of wealthy democracies promised on Sunday to send 870 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to developing countries over the next year.
The doses would be made available “as soon as possible,” with at least half going to “those most in need” through the COVAX vaccine sharing pool by the end of the year, leaders said in a communiqué at the end of a Cornwall summit , South West England.
The US had previously promised 500 million cans, and another 100 million came from Great Britain
The communiqué noted that government donations since their last meeting in February will raise “one billion doses for the next year”.
The announcement comes as health leaders sound the alarm bells over a shortage of vaccine doses for developing countries. On Saturday, the head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, reached out to the G7 nations, noting that while they have successfully brought the coronavirus pandemic under control, “many other countries are now facing an increase in cases – and although without vaccines. ”
To vaccinate 70 percent of the world’s population, a total of 11 billion vaccine doses are required, he said.
The G7 leaders disagreed on whether or not to enforce intellectual property rights for vaccine patents. Some countries, including the US and France, have advocated a waiver that would allow developing countries to use intellectual property for themselves. Others, like Germany and the UK, are still against the measure – including those from the European Commission official attitude.
On Saturday, the G7 pledged to accelerate vaccine development efforts for the next pandemic – with the goal of getting vaccines out of the lab and in just 100 days according to the plans of Melinda French Gates and Patrick Vallance, the United’s chief scientific advisor Kingdom to allow.