G7: Pledge to share one billion vaccine doses with poorer countries is a drop in the ocean

Responding to an announcement today that G7 countries are expected to commit to providing one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses through dose sharing and financing, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnès Callamard, 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.

“This agreement shows that instead of facing up to their international obligations by waiving intellectual property rules for vaccines, tests and treatments, and sharing life-saving technology, G7 leaders have opted for more of the same paltry half measures and insufficient gestures, despite their promise to vaccinate the world by 2022.

“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."

“The People’s Vaccine Alliance - a coalition of organizations 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 on track to vaccinate their populations by January 2022.”

Background:

The G7 (Group of Seven) is an organization made up of the world’s seven largest advanced economies. They are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the United States.

The WHO Director General has called for a massive global effort to vaccinate at least 10% of the population of all countries by September, and at least 30% by the end of the year. To reach these targets, wealthy countries must release an additional 250 million doses by September, of which 100 million doses are needed in June and July.