Britain vows to ‘share’ vaccines with poor nations as G-7 meets

WION Web Team
London Published: Feb 19, 2021, 04:42 PM(IST)

Covid-19 vaccines (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, which holds the G-7 presidency this year, is meeting virtually with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States to discuss international challenges, chief among them the pandemic that has killed almost 2.5 million people around the world

Some of the world's wealthiest countries are promising to share coronavirus vaccines with the poorest, but details of when and how many remain scarce as leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers hold their first meeting of 2021 on Friday. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain, which holds the G-7 presidency this year, is meeting virtually with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Japan and the United States to discuss international challenges, chief among them the pandemic that has killed almost 2.5 million people around the world. 

Wealthy nations have snapped up hundreds of millions of doses of vaccines against the virus, while some countries in the developing world have little or none. 

Johnson, whose country has had almost 120,000 coronavirus deaths, will promise to give the majority of any future surplus vaccines to the UN-backed COVAX effort to vaccinate the world's most vulnerable people, and will encourage other G-7 countries to do the same, the British government said. 

But Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly said it was difficult to say with any kind of certainty when or how much Britain could donate. 

We're not really able to give with certainty either a timescale or the numbers involved, he told the BBC. 

Also Read: The story of vaccine haves and have nots

Anti-poverty group the One Campaign said Britain's promise was not enough. 

The virus won't wait on us to be ready before it mutates, so we need to get these vaccines around the world as quickly as possible, said Romilly Greenhill, the group's UK director. 

French President Emmanuel Macron gave a firmer target, saying Europe and the US should allocate up to five per cent of their current Covid-19 vaccine supplies to the poorest countries very fast, so that people on the ground see it happening. 

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