The Group of Seven urged the leaders of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to release any excess COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries as soon as possible, and called on manufacturers to ramp up production.
In a joint statement by the Group of Seven, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass called on governments, pharmaceutical companies and groups involved in vaccine procurement to enhance transparency around contracting, financing and delivery.
“Distribution of vaccines more widely is an urgent economic and moral imperative,” they said. The coronavirus pandemic will not end until everyone has access to vaccinations, including people in developing countries.
On Friday and Saturday, Malpass and Georgieva will meet in person with finance officials from the G7 countries (Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, France and Japan) and the COVID-19 pandemic will be a major topic.
The two organizations welcomed US plans to distribute the first 25 million doses of the 80 million doses of vaccines. Which Washington has pledged to share globally by the end of this month.
“It’s a good start and I hope there will be more doses available, especially for countries that have implementation programmes,” Malpass told Reuters.
The new coronavirus has killed more than 3.7 million people worldwide, according to a Reuters tally.
While about half of the US population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, the percentage in developing countries is still in the double digits, said Mamta Murthy, vice president of human development at the World Bank.
The World Bank, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization this week backed the International Monetary Fund’s $50 billion plan to end the pandemic by expanding access to vaccines.