Amid Vaccine Inequity Concerns, G7 to Donate 1 Bn Doses by ’22 End

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Britain announced on Thursday, 10 June, that G7 leaders will agree to provide at least one billion COVID vaccine doses to the world by expanding their global manufacturing of jabs through sharing and financing schemes.

The G7 Summit is being hosted by the UK in southwest England this year.

The UK added that it would start by donating five million doses by the end of September and at least 100 million surplus doses within the next year, news agency AFP reported.

This comes after Britain has faced criticism for failing to make donations to poorer countries, in spite of having orders for more than 400 million doses.

Amid concerns of vaccine inequity, there have been growing calls for richer countries to step up in providing COVID vaccine to less-developed nations, lest the current situation leads to “vaccine apartheid”.

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However, while welcoming world leaders from the group of seven wealthy nations, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, "As a result of the success of the UK's vaccine programme, we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them. In doing so, we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good," AFP reported.

Johnson added, "At the G7 Summit, I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus."

US to Donate 500 Million Vaccine Doses

Meanwhile, United States President Joe Biden said on Thursday, “We've contributed more than any nation to COVAX – a collective global effort that is delivering COVID-19 vaccines across the world. We've supported (vaccine) manufacturing efforts abroad through our partnerships with Japan, India and Australia -known as Quad,” ANI reported.

Biden announced, “The United States will purchase half a billion new doses of Pfizer vaccines and donate them to 92 low and lower middle-income countries in the world. This historic step will save millions of lives.”

Moreover, around 80 percent of the doses from the G7 countries will go to the COVAX scheme, which aims to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.

A Downing Street statement stated: "At the Summit, world leaders are expected to announce they will provide at least one billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and financing and set out a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing in order to achieve that goal."

According to Johnson's office, the five million doses which will be donated by the end of September this year will primarily be for use in the world's poorest countries.

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(With inputs from ANI and AFP)

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