‘Share dollars and doses’: G20 summit tackles COVID inequalities

Al Jazeera


Vaccine producers and the world’s leading economies attempt to find ways to help poorer nations inoculate populations. Pfizer and BioNTech said they would make one billion cut-price doses available this year to poorer nations. Johnson & Johnson promised 200 million doses of its shot to COVAX, which is co-led by the WHO. Leaders agreed that one option to help poorer nations was sharing vaccines that wealthy countries have already purchased. The COVAX programme, which is dedicated to equitable global vaccine distribution, was mentioned as one option for providing donated doses to countries.


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INDEPENDENT - Six Nations set to remain on free-to-air television
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The Guinness Six Nations Championship is set to remain on free-to-air television after tournament organisers reached an agreement in principle with existing broadcasters BBC and ITV. Six Nations Rugby said it had entered into “exclusive discussions” with the two broadcasters over a four-year agreement starting in 2022 and ending after the 2025 season. The new deal covers the men’s and women’s Six Nations, plus the Six Nations Under-20 tournament. The women’s Six Nations will be screened on the BBC with what the Six Nations describe as “unprecedented broadcast investment”. In a statement, Six Nations Rugby said: “Six Nations Rugby today confirmed that it has entered into exclusive discussions with BBC and ITV after an agreement in principle was reached relating to all three Six Nations Championships.

NEW YORK TIMES - Covid on the Run
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New restrictions on behavior appear to have helped in India and some other countries. (A new outlier: Mongolia has secured enough shots to vaccinate all of its adults, thanks to deals with neighboring Russia and China.) Accelerating the global manufacturing and distribution of vaccines is the only sure way to avoid many more preventable deaths this year. “Unless vaccine supplies reach poorer countries, the tragic scenes now unfolding in India risk being repeated elsewhere,” The Economist’s editors wrote. A data idea, from Matthew Springer of the University of California, San Francisco: States should report Covid deaths and hospitalizations by vaccination status to highlight the value of the shots.

DAILY MAIL - Vaccine makers pledge 2.3B doses to less wealthy nations
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Pfizer and German partner BioNTech pledged Friday to deliver two billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to middle- and low-income countries over the next 18 months, amid international calls for more vaccine solidarity. Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said they expect to provide a billion of the doses this year and another billion in 2022. He has previously said the firm will deliver six billion doses worldwide in the next 18 months - meaning two-thirds will go to wealthier nations. And Pfizer made $3.46 billion in COVID-19 vaccine sales in the first quarter of 2021 alone, the firm disclosed earlier this month. During Friday's global health summit in Rome, Italian Premier Mario Draghi said that nearly 1.5 billion vaccine doses have been administered in over 180 countries worldwide.

NEW YORK POST - COVID fight could return ‘to square one’: experts sound vaccines alarm
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It was already around 100 million doses short of where it had planned to be when India halted exports a month ago amid a surge in infections there. She and others said it was imperative that wealthy countries and regions make good on their rhetoric and share excess vaccines now. It has so far distributed about 65 million doses of mainly the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, many of them to Africa. A spokeswoman for the GAVI vaccines alliance, which co-leads COVAX, said the facility was working hard to make up supplies. Vaccine sharing announced by EU member states has so far amounted to 11.1 million vaccines, he said, of which 9 million are being shared via COVAX.