The Group of Seven (G7) countries – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States – have pledged to donate one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to poor countries to help vaccinate the world by end of next year, according to media reports.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has promised more than 100 million excess doses, which will be delivered next year, the BBC reported on Friday.
The UK’s first five million doses will be administered by the end of September, with another 25 million by the end of the year.
Of the 100 million doses of Covid, 80 million will go to the COVAX program – the international vaccine sharing initiative – 20 million will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
“As a result of the success of the UK vaccine programme, we are now in a position to share some of our excess doses with those who need them,” Johnson said.
“In doing so, we will take a big step towards winning this pandemic forever,” he said, adding that he hopes his fellow leaders at the summit, which begins on Friday, “make similar promises so that together we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year”.
US President Joe Biden has also pledged half a billion doses of Pfizer vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries and the African Union, the report said.
While the first 200 million doses will be distributed by the end of this year, another 300 million will be distributed by June 2021.
“The United States is providing that half a billion doses with no strings attached. No strings attached,” Biden said.
“Our vaccine donations do not include pressure for favors or potential concessions. We are doing this to save lives,” he added.
The UK government has donated over 500 million pounds to COVAX.
Earlier this month, the Biden government announced the sharing of at least 80 million vaccine doses worldwide by the end of June. Of these 25 million doses will be distributed this month to countries in the Caribbean and Latin America; South and Southeast Asia; Africa; and the Palestinian territories, Gaza and the West Bank. The remaining 75% of these vaccines will be distributed by COVAX, the White House said in a statement.
France and Germany pledged 30 million doses of vaccine each, while Italy pledged 15 million doses.
Together, the European Union has pledged to donate at least 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines to low- and middle-income countries before the end of the year, Euronews reported.
Japan has pledged to donate 30 million doses this year. Canada has said it will donate the excess doses of vaccine to COVAX, but has not said when or how many, CTVnews reported.
G7 countries account for more than a third of the world’s vaccine supply, despite representing only 13% of the global population.
COVAX said last month it needed an additional $2 billion pledged to secure enough vaccines to vaccinate nearly a third of people living in low- and middle-income countries.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said on Thursday that 47 of Africa’s 54 countries — nearly 90 percent — are scheduled to miss the September target of vaccinating 10 percent of their population unless Africa receives 225 millions more doses.
With 32 million doses, Africa accounts for less than 1 percent of the more than 2.1 billion doses administered globally. Only 2% of the continent’s nearly 1.3 billion people have received a dose and only 9.4 million Africans are fully vaccinated.
The story was published via a syndicated feed, only the title was changed