G7 2022: More has to be done to achieve a global vaccine roll-out

29 June 2022

CAFOD supporters have been campaigning for a global vaccine roll-out since the start of the pandemic

CAFOD supporters have been campaigning for a global vaccine roll-out since the start of the pandemic

The 2022 meeting of leaders from the G7 group of rich countries has ended with heads of government repeating existing promises to help vaccinate the world against Covid.

Presidents and prime ministers at the meeting, which took place in Germany between 26-28 June, reiterated commitments to help achieve “equitable global access” to vaccines.

Thousands of Catholics in England, Wales and Scotland signed a petition organised by CAFOD and our sister agency SCIAF ahead of the summit, urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to work with leaders at the meeting to push for action on a global vaccine roll-out.

Fewer than one-in-five people in low-income countries has received a single Covid vaccine, despite Boris Johnson calling before last year’s G7 summit for leaders to commit to a goal for the world to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus by the end of 2022.

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What did the G7 leaders agree on Covid-19 vaccines? What did the G7 fail to achieve on vaccines?

The leaders at the summit in Germany failed to meet demands to enable countries to override rules governing pharmaceutical companies’ vaccine designs – known as ‘intellectual property’ – so that countries can quickly manufacture the vaccines needed to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

The G7 leaders pledged to help expand capacity for vaccines to be manufactured in different regions of the world and repeated commitments to help improve global systems for responding to future pandemics.

Covid-19’s impact on the global food system

Covid – alongside the war in Ukraine and the climate emergency – has disrupted global supply chains, leading to shortages and sending prices sky high.

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The heads of government also tried to claim credit for donating more vaccines to poorer countries than they had pledged at the 2021 G7 summit in Cornwall, though the People’s Vaccine Alliance has found that only 49 per cent of promised shots have been delivered. 

More needed to achieve a global vaccine roll-out

Liam Finn, Campaigns Manager at CAFOD, said:

“The G7 leaders need to spend less time patting themselves on the back for their ‘generosity’ in sharing too few vaccines too late, and more time taking the steps that are really needed to make sure people around the world are able to get vaccinated.

“That means not just talking about how to prepare for the next pandemic, but taking the action required right now to end the current one.

“In the first year of the pandemic, Pope Francis urged leaders to ensure the most vulnerable people in all regions of the world could get vaccinated. With so many millions of people still unable to receive a single jab with the pandemic in its third year, we need to keep calling for the action we need to avoid yet more unnecessary suffering.”

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