The G7 countries will share more than 1 billion doses of corona vaccines with less wealthy countries, the United States confirms. The first doses will be made available this summer so that the world’s most vulnerable people can be vaccinated against Covid-19.
The move by the seven major industrialized countries and the European Union comes as no great surprise. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he already expected a donation of this size, and US President Joe Biden announced that he would buy and share 500 million doses. The EU, UK and Canada each sign for 100 million doses.
The number of people who can be vaccinated depends on the type of corona vaccine that is supplied. Most drugs consist of two doses that must be administered at different times.
Aid organization Oxfam Novib reacts critically to the promises. “If the best G7 leaders can do is donate 1 billion doses of vaccine, this summit will have been a failure,” said Anna Marriott, health policy manager. The world would need an estimated 11 billion doses to end the pandemic. Marriott argues that charity is not a solution to the vaccine shortage and advocates the release of the patents.
The US says the G7 pledge is the basis of a series of actions to end the pandemic by 2022. A broader action plan is still being discussed at the G7 summit, the first in almost two years, in Cornwall, England.
According to the Americans, that plan includes providing emergency supplies, contributions to global economic recovery and preparations for future disasters. In addition, the G7 countries would consider allocating up to $100 billion (about 82.6 billion euros) in International Monetary Fund (IMF) reserves to the countries worst hit by the corona crisis.
Johnson spoke of a “huge opportunity” to kick-start the recovery from the corona pandemic at the start of the three-day summit on Friday. The British Prime Minister also said he believes the leaders’ meeting should take place now so that lessons can be learned from the pandemic and mistakes made in it are not repeated.