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G7 leaders pledge one billion Covid-19 vaccines for poorer countries

·2-min read

G7 leaders have pledged one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses for poorer countries.

Last week Unicef wrote a letter to G7 urging some of the wealthiest nations in the world to donate 20 per cent of their vaccination stock to governments most in need between June and August.

Following the end of the three-day G7 summit in Cornwall, England at the weekend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed the attending leaders from the U.K., U.S., Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada had agreed to aid the global vaccination efforts and described the move as a "big step towards vaccinating the world".

Unicef officials have called for countries to vaccinate residents at the same time around the world, insisting the focus must be on protecting those most at risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from coronavirus.

Johnson has claimed 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" and said the U.K. would donate 100 million doses.

G7 leaders plan to supply vaccines directly to countries that are struggling to roll out a programme or through the World Health Organization's Covax scheme.

In a 25-page letter, leaders attending the summit pledged to "end the pandemic and prepare for the future by driving an intensified international effort, starting immediately, to vaccinate the world by getting as many safe vaccines to as many people as possible as fast as possible".

Johnson has rejected suggestions the vaccine pledge won't be enough to help protect the most vulnerable in poorer countries, insisting the U.K. is "going flat out and we are producing vaccines as fast as we can, and distributing them as fast as we can".

Other announcements included promises to get 40 million more girls around the world into education by 2026, support for the green revolution to cut emissions and create new jobs, and improvement of systems to prepare for future health crises.

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