The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said on Monday (18) that the European Union and the American government will pressure the G20 countries to increase the donation of anti-Covid vaccines to poorer countries, to immunize 70% of the population. world population by the end of 2022.
The leaders of 19 countries —among the biggest global economies— and the EU meet later this month in Rome.
Von der Leyen said the EU has donated 87 million doses so far to the Covax consortium, which purchases and distributes drugs to 144 countries, and announced the donation of another 500 million next year.
Last month, the American President, Joe Biden, had also announced the donation of over 500 million doses, which will raise to 1 billion the number of doses sent to other countries.
“But other countries also need to move forward. Working closely with the Prime Minister [da Itália, Mario] Draghi and President Biden to bring together G20 leaders at the Rome summit next week behind this ambitious goal: to win the global pandemic.”
Von der Leyen said that, in addition to donations, the EU exported half of the vaccines manufactured on the continent, sending more than 1 billion doses to more than 150 countries — among them, she cited Japan, Turkey, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Africa of the South and Brazil.
As the leaders of the WHO (World Health Organization) remind us, the unequal distribution of vaccines is not just a regional or altruistic concern: it is a phenomenon that can compromise the control of the pandemic worldwide, including in rich countries, because the more As the virus circulates uncontrollably, the greater the risk that more dangerous and vaccine-resistant strains will emerge.
In May this year, developed nations — with 15% of the world’s population — concentrated almost half of the vaccines available. While a third of its inhabitants had received at least one dose, in poor nations the proportion was only 0.2%.
The donation of immunization agents has also become a form of diplomacy. In addition to the US, which announced the transfer of doses to the international community, in June, the UK also said it would donate 100 million immunizations.