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G-7 vows ‘equitable’ world vaccine access, but details scant

February 20, 2021 10:22 am
Boris Johnson

Leaders of the Group of Seven economic powers promised to immunize the world’s neediest people against the coronavirus.

This had to be done by giving money, and precious vaccine doses, to a U.N.-backed vaccine distribution effort.

But the leaders, under pressure over their vaccination campaigns at home, were unwilling to say exactly how much vaccine they were willing to share with the developing world, or when.

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Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the G-7 leaders held a virtual meeting that fair distribution of vaccines was “an elementary question of fairness.”

But she added, “No vaccination appointment in Germany is going to be endangered.”

After their first meeting of the year — held remotely because of the pandemic — the leaders said they would accelerate global vaccine development and deployment” and support “affordable and equitable access to vaccines” and treatments for COVID-19.

They cited a collective $7.5 billion from the G-7 to U.N.-backed COVID=19 efforts.

“This is a global pandemic, and it’s no use one country being far ahead of another,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said as he opened the virtual summit with the leaders of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan. The U.K. holds the G-7 presidency this year.

“We’ve got to move together,” Johnson said, speaking from the prime minister’s 10 Downing St. residence to the other leaders in their far-flung offices. “So, one of the things that I know that colleagues will be wanting to do is to ensure that we distribute vaccines at cost around the world.”

Wealthy nations have snapped up several billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, while some countries in the developing world have little or none.

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