UPDATE 1-Funding and vaccines sought from G20 countries for COVAX, according to WHO

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By Stéphanie Nebehay

GENEVA, June 7 (Reuters) – Emerging powers in G20 countries including China, Brazil and India urged to help with emergency funding and COVID-19 vaccines for dose-sharing facility COVAX, the World Health Organization and a Norwegian official said on Monday. .

Ahead of the G7 summit this week, rich countries were also pressured to follow the United States in immediately making doses available to cover a 200 million dose gap caused by India’s supply disruptions and delays in manufacturing.

So far, some 150 million doses have been promised to COVAX, well below the 250 million needed by the end of September, and the target of one billion by the end of the year, have indicated those responsible.

Bruce Aylward, senior advisor to the WHO Director-General and his Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) accelerator coordinator, and Norway, who co-leads the COVAX Facilitation Council with South Africa, said that more investment was needed.

“We still need more contributions from the G7, but we also call for greater investments from the G20,” John-Arne Røttingen, Norwegian Ambassador for Global Health, told reporters.

“We have to be frank to say that currently several of the largest emerging economies constituting an important part of the G20, they still have not contributed financially to the ACT-Accelerator. So it is of course countries like China , Brazil, to name a few., ”he added.

Aylward said discussions were underway with China and India but gave no details.

“We are not limiting our gaze to the G7,” he said.

“We are looking at everyone, either producing these doses or contracting doses. The G20 – absolutely crucial. India, China, we are discussing a lot of them and what they can do in terms of the both release supply and donation provide even. ”

Aylward said a proposal submitted by the EU to the World Trade Organization last Friday to expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine did not go far enough and said a waiver of patent rights “would add value”. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Edmund Blair and Andrea Ricci)


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