Last week, leaders from the Group of Seven (G7)—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States—came together to discuss, among other things, an ambitious goal to build stronger health systems to protect the world from future pandemics.
While we were pleased to see a bold commitment from the US government to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to the world’s lowest income nations, the G7 failed to provide an overall blueprint for investment or action that the world desperately needs to end this pandemic and prepare for the next.
Leaders acknowledged the need to vaccinate a majority of the global population to end the pandemic by 2022 but failed to agree on a global roadmap to bolster political will and spur action to achieve herd immunity. The G7 communique rightly prioritizes increased coordination around global vaccine manufacturing capacity, but again lacked any strategy for how do so. And we were pleased to see ongoing support from G7 nations for the extension of the ACT-Accelerator and increased transparency around vaccine procurement and delivery to both donor and recipient countries, but with the current US$18.1 billion funding gap, meaningful support requires greater funding commitments.
World leaders from the wealthiest countries have a responsibility to act—and fund—an inclusive COVID-19 response that will put an end to the acute phase of the pandemic and save lives. We will continue to demand that G7 leaders back their statements with the funding and outline of tangible action needed to bring the world past the current crisis and prepare for the next.