G7 leaders pledge 1 billion pandemic vaccine doses to world

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.”

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 target to vaccinate the world by the end of next year would be met “very largely thanks to the efforts of the countries who have come here today”, Mr Johnson said. 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.” Mr Johnson rejected suggestions the vaccines pledge was a moral failure by the G7 as it was not enough to cover the needs of poorer countries. He referred to the the UK’s involvement in the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.