Vaccine commitment from G7: Group of 7 countries going backwards?

Speaking ahead of the G7 meeting, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said leaders would agree to expand global production of a Covid-19 vaccine to supply at least 1 billion doses of vaccine to the world through sharing and funding mechanisms.

G7 vaccine commitment: Group of 7 countries move back?
Providing 1 billion doses of vaccine is not something new that G7 brings to the world.

In addition, the UK, the host country of this conference, announced that it would donate at least 100 million doses of a Covid-19 vaccine within the next year, prioritizing the poorest countries, of which 5 million doses will begin to be deployed in the next few years. next week, 25 million doses by the end of the year.

According to the UK Prime Minister’s Office, about 80% of the above vaccines will go to the COVAX program – a vaccine sharing mechanism for poor countries initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Notably, observers found that these were all previous commitments of these countries.

According to Reuters news agency, the vaccine plan of the G7 includes the initiative of the administration of US President Joe Biden announced on June 10 about the donation of 500 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech.

In the plan, the member countries of the European Union (EU) also agreed to donate at least 100 million doses of the vaccine by the end of 2021. France and Germany each donate 30 million doses.

However, this pledge of 100 million doses of the vaccine was also mentioned in an EU high-level meeting in May.

The majority of vaccine batches pledged will go through COVAX – a global vaccine distribution system supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Gavi vaccine alliance.

Experts say that the number of doses of vaccines that G7 pledged to contribute is still 5-6 billion doses short of the amount that poor countries need. Moreover, the plan does not outline how to close the gap in the distribution of vaccine doses.

The vaccine storage and distribution infrastructure in developing countries can hinder the implementation of vaccination even when they receive the COVID-19 vaccine from major countries, especially the infrastructures. The weak infrastructure is at risk of being overwhelmed when many promising vaccines are delivered at the end of the year.

The World Bank has extended a credit line of $12 billion to developing countries to build vaccine delivery infrastructure, but governments have only pulled out about $3 billion so far.

All that G7 brings is just old information with grandiose numbers with little practicality.

British observer Martin Jacques, who used to do research at Cambridge University and Fudan University (China), once published an article in the Global Times, saying that what the G7 countries are doing and organizing The grand conference is impractical compared to what China has acted on.

“The US promised to export 80 million doses of vaccine by the end of this year. Compare this number with China’s performance. In addition to 770 million doses already injected domestically, China exports more than 300 million doses of vaccine to developing countries. More than half of vaccinations in Latin America are from China,” this person commented.

This expert commented, “the role and importance of the G7 has now decreased because of the increasing role of the world including developing countries”. The G7 block is “just a faint shadow of itself”, he asserted.

However, some experts believe that the new move of the G7 group of countries is still a much-needed boost for COVAX as COVAX has so far distributed only 83 million doses of the vaccine worldwide. COVAX has struggled to secure the distribution of vaccines to poor countries as wealthy nations purchase and hoard many times more vaccines than the real population.

They argue that rich countries with high vaccination rates should find ways to ship doses of vaccine quickly, especially for batches of vaccine near the expiration date to avoid waste while many other places are in the process of getting vaccinated. need.

Hai Lam


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