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Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Biden Says The End of the Global Pandemic Could Extend Past 2022” – below is their description.
The Group of Seven fell a little short on fulfilling a pledge of 1 billion additional vaccine doses it will donate to developing nations, revealing gaps in the bloc between vaccine haves and have-nots.
The world leaders made the 1-billion-shot pledge on Sunday — and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the G-7 would collectively distribute 2.3 billion vaccine doses to developing countries by next year.
“Recognizing that ending the pandemic in 2022 will require vaccinating at least 60% of the global population, we will intensify our action to save lives,” the leaders said in their final communique from the G-7 summit in the coastal Cornwall region of the U.K.
But Merkel’s larger figure includes a much wider array of contributions already offered, as well future exports, according to a European official.
So far, the G-7 countries have promised only as many as 700 million truly new doses, funded in part by previously announced aid. If doses already announced in recent weeks by G-7 and EU nations are included, the tally grows to 870 million doses, as the communique notes.
To reach the 1 billion figure, G-7 officials included pledges made starting back in February.
The leaders clearly wanted to make a big splash with the promise. U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson kicked off the summit by emphasizing the target, and U.S. President Joe Biden hailed his government’s commitment to supply half of the 1 billion new doses.
The biggest batches come from countries that had cornered the market early on for domestic use. The U.S. and the U.K. account for nearly all the new pledges — after they steered hundreds of millions of doses produced on their soil for their own citizens, while restricting exports for months.
That approach led to stark vaccine disparities globally, even among the wealthy members of the G-7. The U.S. and U.K. have fully vaccinated nearly half their populations while Japan and Canada have fully vaccinated less than 10%.
“It’s a good step, but the G-7 should feel far from content,” said Krishna Udayakumar, the founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center.
“It seems like for an announcement, they went for a nice big round number without a lot of detail around it. Hopefully there is detail around it, as opposed to being figured out after the fact,” he said.
Health advocates have warned that the world needs billions of doses to quell the pandemic and to halt uncontrolled spread that generates more dangerous variants, against which vaccine protection may be less effective.
The pledges come as the bloc grapples with another question — whether and how to lift intellectual property rights protections for the vaccines. Biden threw his weight behind that idea but it has languished after Merkel opposed it.
Despite some lingering resentment, the new doses pledged at the summit are a welcome sign to nations without domestic vaccine production that have been desperately awaiting shots. The new and existing pledges include:
500 million Pfizer Inc. doses pledged by the U.S., for delivery beginning in August and through 2022, on top of 80 million Biden previously announced
100 million doses pledged by the U.K. from a mix of manufacturers
as many as 100 million doses pledged by Canada at the summit
100 million doses pledged by the EU at a meeting last month, including 75 million from Germany, France and Italy — the EU’s G-7 members
While some of that was previously announced, the latest measures are also in some cases not entirely new. The 500 million doses pledged by the U.S. will be funded in part by $2 billion that Biden had initially promised for Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative aimed at facilitating equitable global distribution. Biden will claw that money back and buy doses directly, then work with Covax to distribute them.
Biden also has said he’ll share 80 million doses by the end of this month. Those are expected to be a mix of Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc. and AstraZeneca Plc shots.
The 100 million U.K. doses — including 5 million to be distributed by September and a total of 30 million in 2021 — will be a mix of several suppliers and will be based on U.K. supply. The cost of the doses remains unclear.
The Canadian doses are a mix of those funded by a previous C$440 million ($361.9 million) pledge to Covax, as well as surplus doses the country ordered. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s vaccination program initially struggled from a lack of domestic production, leaving it reliant on imports and now facing a belated wave of orders rolling in.Bloomberg Quicktake: Now YouTube Channel
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