G20 countries have pledged to step up the production and distribution of coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries as leaders of the most industrialised countries met virtually for the Global Health Summit in Rome.
Italian prime minister Mario Draghi said 1.5 billion vaccine doses had already been administered around the world. But 85% of those doses were in richer countries. He warned this meant the virus would still be free to circulate and mutate in lower-income countries, which could prove a threat to vaccination campaigns.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced 1.3 billion doses of vaccine will be delivered by Europe alone to low-income countries at no profit and to middle-income countries at low prices throughout the rest of the year. She added a further 1.3 billion doses would be delivered to these countries in 2022.
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