Today begins three days of the 47th G7 Summit and the meetings will go on till Sunday, 13 June. This year the host country is the United Kingdom and it is being held in Carbis Bay in Cornwall. The Group of 7 includes the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France and Italy. The EU participates in all discussions as a guest. This is the first Summit for the leaders of the US, Japan and Italy since they assumed office.
Every year different countries are invited to participate and this year, leaders from Australia, India, South Korea and South Africa will attend. The main agenda for the summit is: vaccines and distributing, recovery from the pandemic and climate action.
A few days before the summit, UNICEF along with 30 celebrities and goodwill ambassadors, penned an open letter to the G7 nations. The letter is asking them to donate the surplus vaccine doses that they have. The UNICEF has also listed five reasons why it is important that these country donate their excess.
According to UNICEF, by late May, more than 1.4 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses had been administered. However, less than one percent of the global supply of vaccines is reaching low-income countries. There are enough doses, stockpiled by richer countries, that can be used to innoculate the vulnerable living in the poorer countries.
If the G7 nations and European countries donate 20 percent of the vaccine supplies from the months of June, July and August, they will still have enough to innoculate their citizens. According to an analysis by Airfinity, they will be able to collectively donate more than 150 million doses to those in need.
COVID-19 vaccine donations from countries with a surplus is a practical solution to help the others in need via the COVAX initiative. It is a practical answer to ensure that people in every corner of the world have access to vaccines as soon as possible.
The chance of a more deadly variant of the SAR-CoV-2 virus cropping up into existence increases the longer the virus spreads. There is always a possibility that this new variant could be immune to the existing vaccines and treatments may not work as well. While some nations are in the process of vaccinating their adults, other countries are witnessing surges of the virus in the form of a second or third wave. This is why it is important to get the virus under control.
The pandemic has monopolised the time and energy of most healthcare workers. Even hospitals are unable to deal with the rising cases. And while the coronavirus rages, other preventable diseases are on the rise since people do not have access to proper treatment or immunisation. Even those suffering from diseases like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and other life-altering sicknesses are not getting their medicines. By vaccinating people in poor and low-income countries, the healthcare system will be able to restart the other services.
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