Falmouth – AFP
The leaders of the Group of Seven countries intend to agree at their summit, which begins on Friday, to expand the production of vaccines against the “Covid-19” epidemic; To secure at least one billion doses for the world by 2023, by developing plans for funding and participation, according to what Britain, the host of the summit, announced on Thursday.
Britain, which receives the world’s leading economies, said it would donate at least 100 million surplus vaccine doses over the next year, including five million in the coming weeks. This commitment comes on the heels of increasing calls to rich countries; To intensify its efforts to share “Covid-19” vaccines with the least developed countries, at a time when humanitarian organizations are warning that the current situation is causing the virus to collapse. It leads to “apartheid segregation on the basis of vaccines.”
Britain, which received requests for more than 400 million doses, faced criticism; because of its delay in initiating donations to poor countries; But on the eve of welcoming the leaders of the Group of Seven nations to their first summit in nearly two years, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged to change that situation soon.
“As a result of the success of the UK vaccination programme, we are now in a position to share our surplus doses with those who need them,” he said. “By doing so, we will take a big step towards defeating this epidemic once and for all,” he added.
He continued, “During the G7 summit, I hope that my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that together we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year, and rebuild better after the Corona virus.”
The Downing Street statement said: “It is expected that world leaders will announce at the summit that they will provide at least one billion doses of a vaccine for the Corona virus to the world through a program of dose-sharing and funding, in addition to developing a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing; in order to achieve this goal.”
Britain will donate five million doses by the end of September, starting in the coming weeks, mainly for the world’s poorest countries, according to Johnson’s office.
The European Union also agreed to donate at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021, with France and Germany committing to provide 30 million doses.
“A commitment from the American people”
The peoples of a number of rich countries have regained their normal lives thanks to vaccination campaigns, but what has been achieved so far is not enough, and it must be strengthened in developing countries.
And the White House announced, on Thursday, that President Joe Biden, who is visiting the United Kingdom, will announce the purchase of 500 million doses of the “Pfizer/Biontech” vaccine to be donated to countries that need it.
The presidency said: “This is the largest vaccine request and gift offered by one country, and it is a commitment from the American people; To help protect the people of the entire world from COVID-19.”
Vaccines will be equitably distributed to “92 developing countries” through the Kovacs mechanism, starting in August, with 200 million doses being delivered by the end of the year. The remaining 300 doses will be delivered by June 2022.
On the eve of the opening of the G7 summit, Biden said: “Our humanitarian duty is to save as many lives as possible. This is also in the interest of the Americans.” The US President considered that his country’s donation of 500 million vaccines to poor countries is a “historic step” in combating the pandemic.
“The United States has responded to the call once again,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Burla, who was with Biden, considering that all people on Earth have the right to receive vaccines, whatever their financial situation and whatever their origins. With 64 percent of American adults receiving at least one dose of a vaccine, the United States seeks to be a global leader in combating the virus that has killed 3.76 million people, about 600,000 of them in the United States.
At a time when rich countries are advancing in their vaccination campaigns, the Kovacs mechanism is still facing a shortage of vaccines. As of June 4, more than 80 million doses have been delivered through the mechanism to 129 countries and territories; This is a much lower number than expected.
On Thursday, the World Health Organization warned that about 90 percent of African countries are missing the global goal of vaccinating 10% of their population by September; And that’s if you don’t receive 225 million doses soon. The organization called on the rich countries to share their stocks of vaccines with the developing countries once they have finished immunizing their people; In order to save lives and eliminate the pandemic globally.
Making donations and patenting vaccines can speed up vaccination. On Thursday, the European Parliament agreed to a temporary lifting of patents, despite its disagreement on the matter with the European Commission; so as to boost production; and “improving global access to affordable medical products.”
In the 53 European regions, according to World Health Organization standards, 30% of the population received a first dose of the vaccine, while 17% of them became fully immunized.
The European Union called on “all parties to lift restrictions imposed on the export of (anti-Covid 19) vaccines and their components,” according to what the bloc’s foreign minister, Josep Borrell, said Thursday, urging the UN Security Council to overcome its divisions. Borrell stressed during a meeting of the Security Council devoted to relations with Europe that the countries of the European Union “contributed more than 2.8 billion euros”; To combat the epidemic through “Kovax”.
He added: “We have exported more than 240 million doses of vaccine to 90 countries, more than any other region. We plan to donate at least 100 million doses to low- and middle-income countries before the end of the year. But even this is not enough; Therefore, we call on all actors to lift restrictions imposed on the export of vaccines and their components.” At a time when European countries are easing health restrictions, the World Health Organization has called for vigilance.
The director of the European branch of the organization, Hans Kluge, said: “The distribution of vaccines is still far from sufficient to protect the region from the return” of the pandemic, calling for maintaining distancing measures and avoiding travel abroad. He added, “There is still a long way to go towards immunizing at least 80 percent of the adult population.”
The end of the mask
Adding to the scourge of the pandemic are dire consequences for the economies of the poorest countries. A United Nations report revealed, on Thursday, that nine million children may be forced to work; Because of the virus, in addition to the 160 million already forced to do so.
On Thursday, Denmark announced its latest steps to lift health restrictions; They include the near-final end to the mandatory wearing of the muzzle from June 14, allowing cafes and bars to open until midnight from June 11, and allowing larger numbers of fans to attend football matches.
Thanks to the faster-than-expected economic recovery, the European Central Bank raised its growth forecast for the eurozone to 4.6 percent in 2021 and 4.7 percent in 2022.
But in other regions of the world, the pandemic continues to spread, especially in Iran, which has crossed the threshold of 3 million infections, and is facing difficulties in containing a new wave; Because of the slow vaccination campaign and the weak commitment to preventive measures.
Falmouth – AFP