The world should be better armed against global health crises. The corona pandemic shows how hard many states have been hit. One continent in particular should benefit from the new plans.
Rome (dpa) – With stronger international cooperation in vaccine production and distribution, the 20 major industrialized and emerging countries (G20) aim to prevent future health crises.
Vaccine manufacturers assured poorer countries at a digital world health summit in Rome on Friday that more than a billion doses of corona vaccines would have been delivered by the end of the year. The EU also wants to fund the construction of vaccine production sites in Africa with one billion euros, as announced by EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. In a “Rome Declaration,” the G20 countries, including China, the US and India, wanted to agree on principles to be better equipped to face future health crises.
Italy currently holds the G20 Presidency under Prime Minister Mario Draghi. The Mediterranean country organized the summit together with the European Commission. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) said in a video link that it was learned that the pandemic would only be over if everyone had access to vaccines. Many speakers mentioned Africa, where the corona vaccination campaign is progressing very slowly and vaccines are lacking – not least because the G20 states are claiming a large part of it for themselves.
Representatives from institutions such as Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, called for fairer access to vaccines given the inequalities. In addition, vaccine research and development must be accelerated.
In video messages, several corona vaccine manufacturers assured poorer countries that more than a billion doses of vaccine would be delivered by the end of the year. Biontech / Pfizer (approximately 1 billion cans), Moderna (approximately 95 million cans) and Johnson & Johnson (approximately 200 million cans) totaled nearly 1.3 billion units. Deliveries to developing and emerging countries will start in the second half of the year. More than a billion doses are also expected to become available by 2022. The poorest countries should only pay for production costs, while developing countries should have a “low cost”.
The EU also wants to finance the construction of vaccine production sites in Africa with one billion euros. According to von der Leyen, the so-called hubs will be built all over the continent. She did not say exactly where. In the event of a potential health crisis in the future, vaccines could be produced on the sites and African countries would have faster access to vaccinate their populations.
According to von der Leyen, the EU and its member states also plan to donate at least 100 million doses of Corona vaccines to the international vaccination program Covax and developing and emerging countries by the end of the year. Von der Leyen said the corona crisis must have been the last global pandemic.
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