Paris, France, June 11 – Some of the world’s leading charities and health organisations say a pledge by G7 nations to donate one billion Covid vaccines to poorer countries does not go far enough.
The World Health Organization says 11 billion doses are needed to end the pandemic, and several groups called for wealthy nations to donate more vaccines — or waive intellectual property rights to boost production.
Here is a round-up of reactions from around the world:
– Oxfam –
Oxfam said the pledge fell far short of what’s needed in poorer countries, where vaccine campaigns are badly trailing those of wealthy nations.
“If the best G7 leaders can manage is to donate one billion vaccine doses then this summit will have been a failure,” said Anna Marriott, health policy manager at Oxfam.
She called for pharmaceutical monopolies to be broken up and for vaccine know-how to be shared.
“The lives of millions of people in developing countries should never be dependent on the goodwill of rich nations and profit-hungry pharmaceutical corporations.”
– Covax –
The co-chair of Covax, the global body charged with ensuring equitable vaccine distribution for poorer countries, said there remains a yawning gap in vaccine supplies globally.
“We’ve administered somewhere around 2.2 billion doses of vaccine around the world. Seventy-seven percent of those doses have gone into arms in 10 countries only,” said Jane Halton.
“If we’re going to get all those extra doses, firstly manufactured, then shipped, and then in arms equitably around the world we are going to have to scale up.”
– Wellcome Trust –
The G7 pledges “don’t go far enough, fast enough”, said Alex Harris, director of government relations for the global public health NGO Wellcome Trust.
“What the world needs is vaccines now — not later this year.
“To date, G7 countries have distributed over 528 million doses to their combined 610 million population: in contrast, African countries, with twice as many people, have distributed just 34 million,” he said.
“G7 countries are the only ones who can make significant volumes of doses available now… the world is watching.”
– Christian Aid –
Patrick Watt, public affairs director at Christian Aid urged “much greater ambition if we’re to vaccinate the world”.
He urged leaders to join US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron in supporting IP waivers.
“Increasingly, Boris Johnson and (German Chancellor) Angela Merkel are out of step with a growing international consensus that pooling of intellectual property and know-how is needed.”
– Red Cross –
Zoe Abrams, executive director of the British Red Cross, said the promise on vaccines was “heartening”.
But she added: “While every commitment must be welcomed, more needs to be done, and fast.”
– WHO Africa –
The WHO’s regional director for Africa said wealthy nations can help poorer countries scale up vaccine drives, urging much-needed help in securing vaccines.
“As we close in on five million cases and a third wave in Africa looms, many of our most vulnerable people remain dangerously exposed to Covid-19,” said Matshidiso Moeti.
“Countries that can, must urgently share Covid-19 vaccines. It’s do or die on dose sharing for Africa.”