UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), some celebrities and other agencies have appealed to G7 Summit to donate COVID-19 vaccine to meet vaccination target by end of the year.
They made the appeal in an open letter to the upcoming G7 summit of world leaders, scheduled for June 11 to June 13 in the UK.
The G7 countries are a group of the world’s seven largest advanced economies namely: the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Canada, France, Japan and the United States.
The celebrities, influencers and activists, David Beckham, Whoopi Goldberg and Angelique Kidjo, Ambassadors for UNICEF, while emphasising the need for vaccine donations, wrote that “we’re asking you to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Billie Eilish were among those highlighting that the Summit provides vital opportunity for the G7 intergovernmental group of leading countries to agree actions that will get COVID-19 vaccines “where they are most needed, fast”.
According to them, the virus continues to spread in many countries in spite of spending a year and a half battling the pandemic.
“The virus continues to spread in many countries, producing new variants that threaten to undo all the progress so far, with more school closures, healthcare disruptions and greater economic fallout,” the letter explained.
Also, Ramla Ali, José Manuel Calderón and Lucy Liu, signatories said the pandemic would not be over anywhere until it was over everywhere and that meant getting vaccines to every country, as quickly and equitably as possible.
UNICEF had warned that millions of vaccines could be wasted if rich countries sent large amounts of unused doses to poorer nations at the same time.
The agency further explained that there was need for steady supply of vaccines throughout the year as poor countries lacked the resources to get them in arms all at once.
Although UNICEF is already delivering vaccines on behalf of the UN-led vaccine equity initiative COVAX, it is 190 million doses short, leaving vulnerable people dangerously unprotected.
According to UNICEF’s analysis, G7 countries will soon have enough doses to donate around 20 per cent of vaccines between June and August – equivalent to more than 150 million doses – without significantly delaying current plans to vaccinate their adult populations.
“The hopes of the world rest on your shoulders. Together, you must rise to this challenge. Let’s build a healthier, brighter and fairer future for every child and for everyone,” the letter concluded.
Similarly, the Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus solicited the support of G7 health ministers to meet vaccination targets by the end of the year.
“First, we seek your support for reaching our vaccination targets for September and the end of the year; sharing doses with COVAX now is essential for achieving those targets.
“We need 250 million doses by September and we need 100 million doses just in June and July,’’ he said. (NAN)