London: The Group of Seven (G7) leaders are expected to announce that they will provide at least 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and financing, the United Kingdom announced.
The UK, which is hosting the G7 summit in southwest England, added it would donate at least 100 million surplus doses within the next year, including five million beginning in the coming weeks.
This comes amid growing calls for richer countries to step up their efforts to share COVID-19 shots with less developed nations. The Group of Seven is an organisation of wealthy democracies consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“At the Summit world leaders are expected to announce they will provide at least 1 billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and financing and set out a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing in order to achieve that goal,” read the statement released by UK Prime Minister`s Office.
At the summit, leaders will also discuss how to expand the supply of vaccines internationally, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking the group to encourage pharmaceutical companies to adopt the Oxford-AstraZeneca model of providing vaccines of cost for the duration of the pandemic.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have already pledged to share 1.3 billion doses on a non-profit basis with developing countries. Leaders are expected to discuss additional ways to support countries experiencing acute coronavirus emergencies and put in place mechanisms to prevent future pandemics. This follows on from commitments made at the virtual meeting of G7 leaders earlier this year.