G7 increase support for Covax scheme

The Covax scheme is aiming to get at least 1.3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses
Leaders of the UK, US, Germany, France, Italy and Japan held a virtual summit. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Leaders of G7 have pledged to intensify co-operation on coronavirus and increase their contribution to the Covax vaccine-sharing initiative.

G7 leaders raised their overall commitment to $7.5bn in a joint statement released after a virtual summit on Friday.

Wealthy countries are facing growing pressure to make sure lower-income countries get fair access to vaccines.

US President Joe Biden has pledged $4bn in US aid to the fund.

An initial $2bn will be donated in 2021, with another $2bn coming over the next two years.

Germany pledged an additional $1.2bn in the scheme with Chancellor Angela Merkel telling journalists: “I stressed in my intervention that the pandemic is not over until all people in the world have been vaccinated.”

The European Union also increased its commitment on Friday.

The Covax scheme is aiming to get at least 1.3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to vulnerable populations worldwide in the coming months.

Covax is co-led by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and Gavi, known as the Vaccine Alliance.

On Friday, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was grateful for the new commitments but emphasised that more was needed to address the world’s vaccination imbalance.

at the annual Munich Security Conference, he said: “Vaccine equity is not just the right thing to do, it’s also the smart thing to do.”

President Emmanuel Macron of France is among world leaders calling for further action to address the world’s vaccine imbalance – saying Europe and the US should urgently send up to 5% of their supplies to developing nations.

You may read: Macron proposes sending 4-5% of Covid-19 vaccine to poorer nations