UNICEF Ambassadors urge G7 leaders to donate COVID-19 vaccine

UNICEF Ambassadors urge G7 leaders to donate COVID-19 vaccine

By Nkeiru  Ibe

UNICEF Ambassadors have demanded that G7 (Group of Seven) leaders-an organisation of the world’s seven largest advanced countries, commit to sharing at least 20 percent of the available doses of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries.

The demand was made in an open letter, published ahead of the ongoing G7 Leaders’ Summit in Cornwall, UK. 

The letter goes on to warn that COVAX, the global initiative supporting poorer countries in gaining access to vaccines, is already facing a shortfall of 190 million doses, and proposes that, in order to help cover this shortfall, G7 countries donate 20 per cent of their vaccines between June and August – over 150 million doses – as a temporary stopgap measure to compensate for this shortfall.

The focus of the 2021 summit is on the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change.

A statement on the G7 website reads: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the UK’s G7 presidency to unite leading democracies to help the world fight, and then build back better from coronavirus and create a greener, more prosperous future.”

Recent data analysis provided by Airfinity, the life sciences research facility, and commissioned by the UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), indicates that G7 nations could do so without significant delay to current plans to vaccinate domestic adult populations.

UNICEF is also warning that without urgently ensuring fair and equitable access supply, the world will continue to be at risk of deadly virus mutations – like the devastating second wave of COVID-19 sweeping across India and other South Asian countries including Nepal,

Finally, the letter argues that “this weekend’s G7 Summit is a vital opportunity for you to agree the actions that will get vaccines where they are most needed, fast…” and urges leaders to set out a roadmap to scale-up donations as supplies increase, noting that forecasts suggest as many as one billion doses may be available for donation by year

“This is a pivotal time in the fight against COVID-19, as leaders meet to set priorities for what form this fight will take in the coming weeks and months. I am pleased so many UNICEF supporters are joining our call for emergency support for COVAX, so we can continue to wage this fight globally. After all, the disease is not respecting boundaries on a map. Our fight to get ahead of the virus, and its variants, should not either,” said Henrietta Fore.

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