More on the WHO’s comments, from AFP: While people in many wealthy nations are enjoying a return to a sense of normalcy thanks to high vaccination rates, the shots remain scarce in less well-off parts of the world. In terms of doses administered, the imbalance between the G7 and low-income countries, as defined by the World Bank, is 73 to one.
Many of the donated G7 doses will be filtered through Covax, a global body charged with ensuring equitable vaccine distribution.
Run by the WHO, the Gavi vaccine alliance and CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, it has to date shipped more than 87 million vaccine doses to 131 countries – far fewer than anticipated.
The WHO wants at least 70% of the world’s population vaccinated by the next G7 meeting in Germany next year.
“To do that, we need 11 billion doses. The G7 and G20 can make this happen,” said Tedros
WHO warns virus quicker than vaccines after G7 doses pledge
The WHO warned Monday that Covid-19 was moving faster than the vaccines, and said the G7’s vow to share a billion doses with poorer nations was simply not enough, AFP reports.
Global health leaders also warned the pledge was too little, too late, with more than 11 billion shots needed.
Faced with outrage over disparities in jab access, the Group of Seven industrialised powers pledged during a weekend summit in Britain to take their total dose donations to more than one billion, up from 130 million promised in February.
“I welcome the announcement that G7 countries will donate 870 million (new) vaccine doses, primarily through Covax,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told journalists.
“This is a big help, but we need more, and we need them faster. Right now, the virus is moving faster than the global distribution of vaccines.
“More than 10 thousand people are dying every day… these communities need vaccines, and they need them now, not next year.”
Hello and welcome to today’s live coverage of the coronavirus pandemic with me, Helen Sullivan.
The WHO warned on Monday that Covid-19 was moving faster than the vaccines, and said the G7’s vow to share a billion doses with poorer nations was simply not enough. Global health leaders also warned the pledge was too little, too late, with more than 11 billion shots needed.
Meanwhile the US is poised to pass the dark milestone of 600,000 deaths over the course of the pandemic, with 599,945 fatalities confirmed currently on the Johns Hopkins University tracker.
Here are the other key recent developments:
- Boris Johnson announced a four-week delay to the lifting of coronavirus restrictions in England. He said the extra delay could prevent thousands of deaths by allowing more vaccinations. No 10 said data indicated two doses of a vaccine were needed for protection against the Delta variant causing a rise in cases.
- The main impacts of that delay in England will be pubs and hospitality remain restricted to table service and with social distancing measures in place, people should still work from home where possible, theatres and entertainment venues will have their capacity held at 50% and nightclubs will have to remain closed. The limit of 30 people at weddings and receptions has been lifted though, and also for wakes – although there are still some restrictions in place on what you can do.
- The Delta variant has been detected in 74 countries and is continuing to spread, prompting fears it will become the most dominant strain globally. There is also concern that while data is being shared, countries with weaker monitoring systems may not have detected the strain’s presence.
- Indonesia said it fears rising cases will not peak until July, despite hospitals in the capital Jakarta and other parts of Java already coming close to full capacity. The country is trying to increase hospital capacity and turn hotels into isolation centres.
- Russia reported 13,721 new coronavirus cases, including 6,590 in the capital, Moscow. Authorities in St Petersburg, which is hosting a series of Euro 2020 matches, said on Monday they were tightening anti-coronavirus restrictions in an effort to curb a new spike in infections. Food courts and children’s play areas in shopping malls in Russia’s second city will be closed, and no food will be sold at Euro 2020 fan zones.
- South Africa has had to bin 2 million Johnson and Johnson doses because of a potential contamination of ingredients traced back to the US. It is another setback for the country’s vaccination campaign with the doses planned for health workers and over-60s.
- A WHO official said Africa will get priority treatment for the 870 million vaccine doses pledged by the G7 because it has emerged as one of “the most vulnerable, under-served (areas)”.
- The two main hospitals in Afghanistan dealing with Covid-19 have had to turn away patients, saying they have no more beds and are short on oxygen and medical supplies.
- Thailand’s recently launched coronavirus vaccination campaign was hit by confusion after at least 20 hospitals in Bangkok postponed Covid-19 inoculation appointments set for this week, citing delays in vaccine deliveries. A series of coronavirus outbreaks in Thai factories is also raising concerns that the export sector could be hit hard, threatening to further undermine an economy as it struggles to recover from the pandemic’s crippling blow to the crucial tourism industry.