G7 nations expected to share 1bn Covid-19 vaccine doses with the worldEuropost
The Group of Seven nations are set to commit to sharing at least 1 billion coronavirus shots with the world, British PM Boris Johnson announced on Thursday, news wires reported. Half of them will come from the US and 100 million from the UK. Johnson’s announcement on the eve of the G7 leaders’ summit in England came hours after the US president Joe Biden committed to donating 500m Covid-19 vaccine doses, AP noted.
The Johnson’s office said the first 5 million UK doses would be shared in the coming weeks, with the remainder coming over the next year. Biden’s own commitment was on top of the 80 million doses he has already pledged to donate by the end of June.
“At the G7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus,” Johnson said in a statement referencing the US president’s campaign slogan.
Earlier on Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the US commitment and said Europe should do the same. He said France would share at least 30 million doses globally by year’s end. “I think the European Union needs to have at least the same level of ambition as the United States,” he said at a news conference. He added that time was of the essence, saying, “It’s almost more important to say how many (doses) we deliver the next month than making promises to be fulfilled in 18 months from now.”
The G7 leaders have faced mounting pressure to outline their global vaccine sharing plans, especially as inequities in supply around the world have become more pronounced. In the US, there is a large vaccine stockpile and the demand for shots has dropped precipitously in recent weeks.