G7 Vaccine pledges for poor countries are considered insufficient by activists

G7 Vaccine pledges for poor countries are considered insufficient by activists


The G7 pledged to provide 1 billion coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries to help the world vaccinate. This has aroused criticism from activists for failing to bridge the huge gap in global life-saving vaccine supply.

Advocates for more international vaccinations said that the initiative of the Rich Democracy Clubs Conference held in the UK this weekend looks too small, too slow, and too narrow to achieve its target date for the end of next year.

This G7 commitment Professor Suerie Moon, co-director of the Geneva-based International and Development Institute’s Global Health Center, said that of the estimated 2.5 billion overdose injections that the organization’s government has received that exceed its domestic needs, these injections are too small.

“Although the donation of 1 billion doses shows that leaders have finally stopped hesitating, it is less than half of what these countries can and should promise today,” Wenn said, who also pointed to the “poor follow-up record” of the G7 summit agreement.

“A more reliable strategy is to urgently expand and diversify production through technology transfer and removal of intellectual property barriers,” she added.

The G7 plan-including the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and Canada-includes 500m dose from Washington 100m from London. The European Union has separately pledged to provide 100 million injections to African countries and poor countries in other parts of the world by the end of the year.

The sterile area of ??the Vaccination Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Covid cases have increased significantly © Arsene Mpiana/AFP via Getty Images

Part of the purpose of the initiative is to counter criticism that Western governments have used most of the initial Covid-19 vaccine supply to vaccinate their own people.

US President Joe Biden said at the beginning of the three-day G7 summit in Cornwall on Friday: “We will work with our global partners to help lead the world out of this pandemic.”

Biden added that US-made doses will be shipped from August, and the goal is to distribute 200 million doses by the end of the year.

The World Health Organization said it welcomes “all commitments and contributions” to achieve its goal of vaccinating at least 10% of each country’s population by September and 30% by December.

However, after the international vaccine distribution program Covax, which it supports, was hit by the suspension of Indian exports, the global health agency faces the daunting task of achieving these goals, and many of the vaccines ordered by the agency are produced in India.

The WHO urges G7 countries and other countries to “stand up and share the dose immediately” to help close the supply gap for Covax.

It said: “We need the leadership of every member of the G7 to change the rules of the game,” adding that there is also an urgent need for more funding for coronavirus treatment, testing and health systems. “We cannot solve this terrible pandemic with vaccines alone.”

Successful vaccination campaigns in many Western countries this year have exposed the apparent inequality in global vaccine distribution. Immunization in many low-income countries has just begun.

According to data collected by the Financial Times, although the United Kingdom has injected 103.7 doses of vaccine for every 100 people, Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has only injected 1.1 doses.

As the number of people infected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Botswana, and Zambia has risen sharply, Africa may be “in the full crisis of the third wave of pandemic” when the G7 vaccine arrives, said Ayoade Alakija, the African Vaccine Delivery Alliance.

A passenger wearing a mask on a bus in Gaborone, Botswana
A passenger wearing a mask on a bus in Gaborone, Botswana © Monirul Bhuiyan/AFP via Getty Images

Alakija’s organization is responsible for coordinating distribution on the African continent. He stated that the United States’ commitment to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine is a “generous” donation of “the best vaccine they consider to be”-but it is still “not enough.”

The Pfizer vaccine has been proven to have the highest efficacy in clinical trials and is considered to be more effective against Covid variants and cause fewer serious side effects than some other jabs.

Officials in rich countries have privately acknowledged the need to avoid people thinking they are selling unwanted “second-class” vaccines to poorer countries.

When asked about the UK’s pledge, the pledge did not provide a specific brand, but stated that it would provide a “remaining vaccine dose,” Alakija said: “Some people are donating leftovers, and some are doing their best.”

Further attention to the G7 initiative involves the difficulty of vaccination in countries with insufficient funding for health services, insufficient cold storage facilities, or weak transportation infrastructure.

“If there is no clear road map on how to transfer vaccines from the manufacturer to someone’s arm, G7 will fail,” said Thoko Elphick-Pooley, head of the Joint Fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases that works in hard-to-reach places. . “The vaccine will not work on its own. It needs people and the health system.”

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