“No excuses left” as G7 leaders gather at Carbis Bay
With the leaders of the G7 group of advanced economies preparing to meet in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic, global activists have urged them not to waste this critical opportunity to revitalise the race to get COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
New data released by The ONE Campaign today shows that the supply of vaccines is likely to exceed demand in every G7 country by the end of the summer. This creates a critical “tipping point” when the world’s richest countries will start to build up surplus stocks of vaccines – leaving no excuses for them not to share their doses more widely.
To date, world leaders have failed to take the collective steps needed to get vaccines to the whole world. This has led to a dangerous two-tier approach to vaccine distribution. G7 countries could vaccinate 100% of their population and have about 2.7 billion doses left over, but ONE’s data shows that the world’s poorest 29 countries account for just 0.4%% of administered doses. Meanwhile, the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), the world’s war-chest to deliver vaccines and other tools to low and middle income countries, remains underfunded and global supply chain issues mean there is a real risk new vaccines won’t reach lower income countries in time to stop new waves of the virus.
To address this growing vaccine inequality and end the pandemic as soon as possible, ONE is calling on leaders to use the opportunity the summit agree to a Global Vaccine Roadmap – a fully-costed plan to achieve the level of vaccine coverage needed to beat the virus everywhere, which includes:
- Urgent commitments to share doses – 1bn Covid vaccine doses shared by the end of the year, 2bn as soon as possible.
- Fully funding the ACT-A – with G7 countries contributing $36bn as their fair share of the $66bn needed for global herd immunity by end 2022.
Edwin Ikhuoria, Executive Director for Africa at The ONE Campaign said: “We are in the last chance saloon if we want to end the Pandemic in a matter of months rather than years – avoiding needless deaths and saving the global economy trillions of dollars. The truth is that leaders have been kicking the can down the road for months – to the point where they risk running out of road.
“This is the moment to do whatever it takes to beat the virus everywhere – starting by immediately sharing their surplus doses, fully funding the global initiatives set up to distribute COVID vaccines, and coming up with a fully-costed strategy to get these life-saving doses to every corner of the world.
“There are simply no excuses left not to act. If G7 leaders seize the moment, this could be a truly historic summit that heralds the end of this global crisis, but if they continue to stall for time, it will be a wasted opportunity of equally historic proportions.”
The summit also provides an important opportunity for leaders to agree on steps to help reduce the global economic aftershocks of the pandemic and to make the crucial investment in education needed to tackle a growing global learning crisis, delivering $3,5billion for the Global Partnership for Education.
To help highlight the steps needed for leaders to claim the summit has been successful, ONE has also produced a bingo card highlighting the commitments that would mark real progress at this G7. If the most important boxes on the card have been crossed off by the end of the summit, then the G7 will have demonstrated that it still has a vital global leadership role to play.
Edwin Ikhuoria and Romilly Greenhill will be available for comment, briefings and interviews throughout the G7 summit from the International Media Centre in Falmouth.