Pharma firms, G20 leaders pledge vaccines for poorer nations 

AFP
Rome, Italy  Published: May 23, 2021, 02:19 PM(IST)

Representative image Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The bosses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson announced they would supply around 3.5 billion vaccine doses at cost or discount to low- and middle-income countries this year and next

Coronavirus vaccine producers promised billions of doses for poorer countries at a G20 health summit Friday, where leaders vowed to expand access to jabs as the only way to end the pandemic. 

The bosses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson announced they would supply around 3.5 billion vaccine doses at cost or discount to low- and middle-income countries this year and next. 

Meanwhile, the European Union pledged to donate 100 million doses and invest in regional manufacturing hubs in Africa to reduce the continent's reliance on imports. 

World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed the 'generous announcements', but warned, 'in the coming months, we will need hundreds of millions more doses’. 

In their summit declaration, the Group of 20 most powerful countries emphasised the importance of open supply chains and equitable access to tools to tackle Covid-19. 

"It is a very clear 'no' to health nationalism," said European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, who co-hosted the summit with Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, the current G20 chair. 

But the five-page text, containing a list of 16 principles, stopped short of endorsing the contentious idea of a temporary global waiver on patent protections for coronavirus vaccines to boost global production. 

Instead, it called for other tools such as 'data sharing, capacity building, licensing agreements, and voluntary technology and know-how transfers on mutually agreed terms’. 

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