G20 to provide poor countries with COVID-19 vaccines

Ministers of health from the Group of Twenty (G20), took a step toward a plan to curb the spread of the COVID-19 among vulnerable populations in poor countries.

According to Italian Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, the ministers agreed on a broad plan to provide financial assistance and vaccines to slow the spread of the pandemic in the poorest countries, after two days of talks.

In a joint communique, the ministers agreed they should provide a strong message of cooperation, solidarity, and justice, in the firm belief that nobody should be left behind.

As Italy holds the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, Speranza chaired the talks, which were held in Rome.

He hailed what he called a “Rome pact” for vaccine distribution.

“We have a political commitment to distribute vaccines to the entire world.

“It is only by working together that we can guarantee a fair distribution of the vaccines that can protect us from the spread of COVID-19,” Speranza said.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said his country is committed to donating at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries by the end of this year.

“The pandemic will be over only when the infection rate subsidies globally.

“The risk of new variants would continue as long as there were clusters of unvaccinated people in parts of the world,” Spahn added.

Stella Kyriakides, the European Union’s commissioner for health and food safety, agreed with Spahn’s point in remarks, adding that the world should aim to inoculate at least 40 percent of the world’s population by the end of 2021.

“It is clear that our goal should be to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. We have to work toward the 40-percent goal.”

She added that a key part of that strategy would be to ramp up vaccine production in Africa, the continent that the World Health Organization says has the lowest overall vaccination rate in percentage terms.

“Producing more vaccines in Africa would allow us to reach all parts of the continent quicker and more efficiently.”

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