UK’s Johnson to urge G7 to back pandemic preparedness treaty

The UK prime minister is also expected to urge wealthy countries to back a new 100-day target for the development of new vaccines for future emerging diseases. [EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL]

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge G7 leaders to support a treaty on pandemic preparedness through the World Health Organisation at a virtual summit on Friday.

Johnson is also expected to urge wealthy countries to back a new 100-day target for the development of new vaccines for future emerging diseases.

“By harnessing our collective ingenuity, we can ensure we have the vaccines, treatments, and tests to be battle-ready for future health threats, as we beat COVID-19 and build back better together,” Johnson will say.

The UK has ordered more than 400 million doses of various coronavirus vaccines, and over 16 million adults have already received their first dose.

However, there are growing concerns about the access of developing countries to the different COVID-19 vaccines, with the UN’s COVAX programme only committed to providing up to 20% of a country’s population.

Research by the ONE campaign group suggests that Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, the US, and the EU have already secured more than three billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, more than one billion more than they need to give their entire populations two doses.

(Benjamin Fox | EURACTIV.com)

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