Covid-19: the G7 promises a billion doses of vaccines for poor countries

Joe Biden arrived in the UK on Wednesday with suitcases loaded with promises. Its commitment: to give countries that need it 500 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine exactly. One way to set the bar very high as you approach the G7 summit. It seems that his strategy has paid off. The rich countries of the G7, which meet from Friday in England, will pledge to double this stake and distribute to poor countries a billion doses of vaccines in the hope of eradicating the pandemic. The announcement came on Thursday evening, after the World Health Organization (WHO) called on European countries not to lower their guard, stressing that the level of vaccination is still too low to avoid a new wave.

Meeting until Sunday in the south-west of England, the leaders of the great powers must “announce that they will provide at least a billion doses of vaccines against the coronavirus by sharing doses and by financing them”, indicates Thursday evening the British government, which holds the presidency of the G7. They must also “present a plan to expand vaccine production to achieve this goal,” he continued.

In detail, London said it gave 100 million excess doses from different laboratories thanks to the progress of its vaccination program, which has made it possible to administer nearly 70 million injections in the United Kingdom. We do not yet know the height of the commitment on the French side.

“Humanitarian duty”

The United States has pledged to provide half of these vaccines, or 500 million doses of Pfizer / BioNTech. “Our humanitarian duty is to save as many lives as possible,” insisted US President Joe Biden, who is on his first tour abroad. “It is also in the interests of the Americans.” “Once again, the United States has answered the call”, welcomed the CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, explaining that all inhabitants of the planet had the right to be vaccinated regardless of their condition. financial situation or their origins.

The purchase of 500 million doses of vaccine from Pfizer / BioNTech to donate to other countries is “the largest vaccine order and donation by any single country and a commitment by the American people to help protect the populations of the whole world against the Covid-19 ”, underlined the American executive.

These vaccines will be distributed to “92 countries” underprivileged through the Covax system, set up to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines. They will start shipping in August, with 200 million doses delivered by the end of the year. The other 300 million will be delivered by June 2022. With nearly 64% of American adults having now received at least one dose, the White House is trying to pose as a leader in the planetary fight against the pandemic, which has done more 3.76 million deaths, including nearly 600,000 in the United States. However, if part of the population of rich countries is resuming a normal life thanks to vaccination, this progress is still fragile and must be extended to less privileged countries.

The Covax mechanism fails to operate at full capacity. As of June 4, the device had delivered more than 80 million doses to 129 countries and territories, far less than expected. Nearly 90% of African countries will miss the global goal of vaccinating one tenth of their population by September, if they do not urgently receive at least 225 million vaccines, the WHO warned on Thursday. Between generosity and mass vaccination of their own populations, countries must now act on two fronts. Because the WHO warns: “The vaccine coverage is far from sufficient to protect the region from a resurgence”. Including the better-off regions.

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