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UK PM Boris Johnson to call on G-7 support for 100-day target to develop new vaccines

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U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call on leaders of the world’s largest economies to support efforts to speed up the development of new vaccines.

 

Johnson, who will chair a virtual meeting with leaders of the G-7 on Friday; is expected to outline an ambition to cut the time to develop new vaccines by two-thirds to 100 days.

A Downing Street statement said the development of a coronavirus vaccine in around 300 days; was a “huge and unprecedented global achievement.”

 

“By reducing the time to develop new vaccines for emerging diseases even further, we may be able to prevent the catastrophic health; economic and social repercussions seen in this crisis,” the government said.

 

The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations first proposed this 100-day goal earlier this year.

 

“The development of viable coronavirus vaccines offers the tantalising prospect of a return to normality; but we must not rest on our laurels,” Johnson said ahead of the meeting.

 

“As leaders of the G7 we must say today: never again,” he added, urging the coalition of leaders to harness “collective ingenuity”; to ensure there are the “vaccines, treatments and tests to be battle-ready for future health threats.”

 

 

 

Johnson has asked the U.K. government’s chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance to work with international partners; including the World Health Organization and CEPI, along with industry and scientific experts to advise the G-7 on speeding up the development of vaccines; treatments and tests.

 

In Friday’s meeting, Johnson is also set to confirm that the U.K. will share the majority of any future surplus coronavirus vaccine doses with Covax.

 

This is a global initiative co-led by the WHO and CEPI, among others; aiming to provide low-income nations with equitable access to coronavirus vaccines.

Last month, the World Health Organization’s top official warned that; the world was on the brink of a “catastrophic moral failure” because of unequal Covid vaccine policies.

 

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Jan. 18 condemned what he described as a “me-first approach” from high-income countries; saying it is self-defeating and leaves the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk.

 

Almost all high-income countries have prioritized vaccine distribution to their own populations.

 

International aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres has described what we see today; in terms of global vaccine access as a “far cry from a picture of equity.”

 

Friday’s meeting will be the first in the U.K.’s 2021 “G-7 Presidency.”

 

It will also be President Joe Biden’s first major multilateral engagement.

 

Johnson had outlined a five-point plan to prevent future pandemics at the United Nations General Assembly last year.

 

This will be the focus of the U.K.’s G-7 presidency on Friday.

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