G7 leaders pledge 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to world: UK PM
The leaders of the Group of Seven nations have pledged over 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for the rest of the world - either directly or through funding to COVAX, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced.
In a statement to mark the end of the Summit hosted by the UK, Boris Johnson said: "A week ago, I asked my fellow leaders to help in preparing and providing the doses we need to vaccinate the whole world by the end of 2022."
"I am very pleased to announce that this weekend leaders have pledged over 1 billion doses, either directly or through funding to COVAX. That includes 100 million from the UK, to the world's poorest countries, which is another big step toward vaccinating the world," CNN quoted him as saying.
Speaking about the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the news conference, Johnson said, "Today over half a billion people are safe because of the development and production of that vaccine."
In a statement, the G7 Leaders promised on Sunday to send 870 million doses of coronavirus vaccines directly to the developing world over the next year.
"Recognising the urgent need to speed up delivery of doses, we are committing to share at least 870 million doses directly over the next year. We will make these doses available as soon as possible and aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021 primarily channelled through COVAX towards those in greatest need," the statement read.
The G7 vowed to work together with G20 leaders to increase this contribution of vaccines over the months to come.
"The commitments since we last met in February 2021 including here in Carbis Bay provide for one billion doses over the next year. We will work together with the private sector, the G20 and other countries to increase this contribution over the months to come," the statement added.
Partners for the COVAX initiative on Sunday welcomed a commitment by G7 countries to share the vaccine.
"This is an important moment of global solidarity and a critical milestone in the push to ensure those most at risk, everywhere are protected," said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi).
"As we strive towards our goal of ending the acute phase of the pandemic, we look forward to working with countries to ensure these doses pledged are quickly turned into doses delivered," Berkley added.