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G7 summit: one billion vaccine pledge is 'drop in the ocean'

Illustrative photo of a syringe in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 4, 2020.
Illustrative photo of a syringe in Buenos Aires, Argentina on August 4, 2020. © Carol Smiljan/NurPhoto

At current rates, it will take poorest countries another 50 years to vaccinate their populations

‘These leaders must climb out of the pockets of Big Pharma’ - Agnès Callamard

Responding to news that G7 countries are expected to commit to providing one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries, Agnès Callamard, Secretary General at Amnesty International, said:

“Pledging to provide one billion doses is a drop in the ocean and wouldn’t come close to covering the population of India, let alone vaccinating the world’s population.

“It is nowhere near enough and fails to address the root issues at play. Not only is it unambitious but smacks of self-interest, particularly considering data suggests G7 countries will have three billion spare doses surplus to requirement by the end of the year.

“These leaders must climb out of the pockets of Big Pharma, push self-interest aside and genuinely commit to ensuring everyone has access to vaccines, no matter where they live.

“The only way to achieve this is through the immediate suspension of intellectual property rules and to ensure the transfer of vaccine knowledge and technology to all qualified vaccine manufacturers in the world.”         

No global coverage until 2078

The People’s Vaccine Alliance - a coalition of organisations including Amnesty International, Health Justice Initiative, Oxfam, Stop AIDS Campaign and UNAIDS - has calculated that if current trends continue, it will take the world’s poorest countries until 2078 to vaccinate their populations. Meanwhile G7 countries are expected to vaccinate their entire populations by January 2022.

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