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G-7 Nations Pledges 1 Billion COVID Vaccine Doses For World

Joe Biden
Patrick Semansky
/
AP
President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's global COVID-19 vaccination efforts ahead of the G-7 summit, Thursday, June 10, 2021, in St. Ives, England.

The head of the World Health Organization welcomed the vaccine-sharing announcement but said “we need more, and we need them faster.”

Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations have staked their claim to leading the world out of the coronavirus pandemic. At the group’s first face-to-face meeting in two years, G-7 leaders pledged more than 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses to poorer nations

Half of the doses would come from the U.S. and 100 million from the U.K. as President Joe Biden urged allies to join in speeding the pandemic’s end and bolstering the strategic position of the world’s wealthiest democracies.

The annoucement came after Biden committed to donating 500 million doses and previewed a coordinated effort by the advanced economies to make vaccination widely and speedily available everywhere.

“We’re going to help lead the world out of this pandemic working alongside our global partners,” Biden said. The G-7 also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Speeding the global recovery from the pandemic was a dominant issue at the summit. While countries like the U.S. and Britain have already given vaccine shots to most adults, many nations, especially in Africa, have few doses or none.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the G-7 pledges mean “we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus.”

The head of the World Health Organization welcomed the vaccine-sharing announcement but said “we need more, and we need them faster.”

“The challenge, I said to the G-7 leaders, was that to truly end the pandemic, our goal must be to vaccinate at least 70% of the world’s population by the time the G-7 meets again in Germany next year,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters Saturday at the summit.

“To do that, we need 11 billion doses,” Tedros said, adding that it was “essential” for countries to temporarily waive intellectual property protections for coronavirus vaccines.

Tedros reiterated his target of vaccinating 30% of the population of every country by the end of 2021. He said that reaching the goal requires 100 million doses in June and July, and 250 million more by September.