Patrick Semansky / AP
Group of Seven world leaders are expected to announce today their pledge to share $ 1 billion of their COVID-19 vaccine resources with low-income countries struggling to control the spread of the virus.
On Thursday, President Biden announced plans to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to the United States worldwide. The first 200 million are expected to be distributed this year and the rest will follow in 2022.
“Our values call on us to do all we can to immunize the world against COVID-19,” Biden said of the decision. “It is also in America’s best interests. As long as the virus rages elsewhere, there is a risk of further mutations that could threaten our people.”
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States form the G-7.
The decision of wealthy democracies to share their vaccine stocks comes as high levels of immunization in these countries have resulted in fewer infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Enough improvements have been made in the US and UK to facilitate coronavirus protocols.
But in South Asia and Latin America, countries are still struggling to contain the virus.
At the end of May, the World Health Organization urged richer countries to contribute more to COVAX and requested at least 1 billion excess doses by the end of 2021. The COVAX program distributes massive quantities of vaccines to countries according to their population.
“By donating vaccines to COVAX alongside national immunization programs, populations most at risk can be protected globally, which is critical to ending the acute phase of the pandemic, halting the rise and fall. threatens variants and accelerate the return to normality, ”WHO said in a statement in May.
Biden and other G-7 leaders are in the UK for the first meeting in about two years. The meeting is due to open today in Carbis Bay, a seaside resort in Cornwall, in the south-west of England.