The surge in Covid cases and deaths in India in April led to record highs for the global number of daily cases, and only the under-counting of deaths is likely to have meant that there were not also record global highs for daily deaths. This pandemic is far from over, even if it is starting to seem like that to the high-income countries that make up the G7.
The UK G7 summit must take decisive action to bring the pandemic to an end. This is both the right thing to do to demonstrate solidarity and common need, and in the self-interest of the G7. Continuing high levels of infection around the world create the risk of new variants emerging, putting at risk the gains made elsewhere. Delay in getting the pandemic under control globally is also economically costly – to all countries. The costs of vaccinating the world pale in comparison. Low and middle-income countries do not have the same fiscal capacity to address the pandemic, and as a result are projected by the IMF to have the slowest economic recovery across all income groups.
The G7 cannot on its own solve a global pandemic, but it can be a major part of the solution by taking the following actions:
- Meet the full funding needs of the ACT-Accelerator for therapeutics, diagnostics and PPE and dramatically expand the ambition and level of financing of COVAX to target the vaccination of all adults in the 92 mostly low- and middle-income countries which are eligible for its support.
- Provide support for countries to roll out their vaccination campaigns, and to purchase vaccines from other pooled platforms such as the African Union’s Africa Medical Supplies Platform. The total additional financial support needed across these two areas is likely to be around $34 billion–$40 billion depending on the price at which vaccines can be purchased. Around $24–$30 billion of this will need to be new grant funding, with the remaining $10 billion met by the existing World Bank commitment to provide $12 billion of support for vaccine purchase and roll-out (which covers a broader set of countries), and countries’ own funding. G7 countries should commit to funding around two-thirds of this, and coordinate with other OECD DAC donors to provide the rest.
- Maximise global vaccine manufacturing capacity by agreeing to a temporary and limited waiver on compulsory licensing to allow the export of vaccines from any manufacturing facility to any country in need, and the removal of restrictions on parallel imports, backed by compensatory payments to holders of intellectual property rights. And take coordinated action to remove bottlenecks in pharmaceutical supply chains.
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This publication first appeared on the ODI site.
Authors: Tom Hart, Maximiliano Mendez-Parra, Annalisa Prizzon.
The views are those of the authors and not necessarily those of ETTG.