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Actor, author and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas joined a host of worldwide celebrities to appeal to G7 leaders to ensure a steady supply of Covid-19 vaccines to poor countries.
In an open letter addressed to the world’s leading economies ahead of the G7 Summit being hosted by the UK later this week, the United Nations Children’s Fund () said that its analysis shows that G7 countries will soon have enough doses to donate 20 per cent of their vaccines between June and August and called for speedy action. Other goodwill ambassadors who have signed the letter alongside include fellow Hollywood actors Whoopi Goldberg and Ewan McGregor, former England footballer David Beckham and singers Billie Eilish and Katy Perry.
“This weekend’s G7 Summit is a vital opportunity for you to agree the actions that will get vaccines where they are most needed, fast,” reads the open letter.
“UNICEF is already on the ground delivering vaccines on behalf of COVAX, the international vaccine equity initiative. But right now, COVAX is 190 million doses short of where it needs to be, which leaves vulnerable people dangerously unprotected. Some countries have committed to donating vaccines later this year, but doses are needed now,” it reads.
It adds: “UNICEF analysis shows that G7 countries will soon have enough doses to donate 20 per cent of their vaccines between June and August – over 150 million doses – without significant delay to current plans to vaccinate their adult populations.
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“We’re asking you to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase. Forecasts suggest as many as 1 billion doses may be available for donation by year end.”
The Group of Seven – comprising the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan as well the European Union – will meet at Carbis Bay in the coastal region of Cornwall for a three-day Leaders’ Summit led by on a range of global issues this weekend. The G7 countries will be joined by the leaders of Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India for discussions on health and climate change – a mix of in person and virtual, as in the case of India.
“The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere, and that means getting vaccines to every country, as quickly and equitably as possible,” the UNICEF appeal notes.
“The hopes of the world rest on your shoulders. Together, you must rise to this challenge,” it adds.