G-7 Countries To Supply Additional 870 M Doses of COVID-19 VaccinesBy
Leaders from the G-7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US) announced at the G-7 Summit, held earlier this month (June 2021) in Cornwall, UK, that they have committed to provide at least 870 million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines to low-and middle-income countries in 2021 and 2022, with the aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021.
The new vaccine-sharing commitment brings the total number of COVID-19 vaccines pledged from the G-7 countries to 1 billion doses since February 2021 and 2 billion doses since the start of the pandemic. This includes 500 million doses committed earlier this month (June 2021) by the US of the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine (200 million doses in 2021 and 300 million doses in 2022) and an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the UK. The UK will donate 5 million doses by the end of September (September 2021) and a further 95 million doses within the next year, including 25 million doses more by the end of 2021.
The donations will be facilitated by the COVAX Facility, a mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. COVAX, the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is co-convened by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a public–private partnership focused on vaccine development against emerging infectious diseases, Gavi, a global public health partnership, and the World Health Organization. It works in partnership with UNICEF as an implementing partner, vaccine manufacturers, the World Bank, and others.
COVAX says it is focused on securing as many shared doses as soon as possible as the third quarter of 2021 is when the gap between deliveries and countries’ ability to absorb doses will be the greatest. COVAX says it will work with the G-7 and other countries that have committed to share doses to address short-term supply constraints currently impacting the global response to COVID-19 and to minimize the prospect of future variants. In anticipation of the large volumes available through the COVAX Facility, COVAX is also calling on multilateral development banks to release funding to assist countries in preparing their health systems for large-scale rollout of vaccines in the coming months (as reported on June 13, 2021).