Pandemic preparedness and vaccine development take centre stage at G7
By World Healthcare Journal-
The 2021 G7 summit, three days of meetings between leaders of the world’s richest democracies, wrapped up on 13 June, with pandemic preparedness and vaccine development playing central priorities in policy discussions.
Vaccines and future pandemic preparedness were atop of the health agenda at this year's G7. As outlined, “with new vaccines offering a way to end the pandemic” the UK planned to use it’s G7 Presidency to discuss how best to lead the “global recovery from coronavirus while strengthening [global] resilience against future pandemics”.
The ‘Carbis Bay Declaration’ on health
Joined by delegates from South Korea, India, Australia, and South Africa, as well as the Secretary General of the UN and leaders of other international organisations, the ‘Carbis Bay Declaration’ on health marks a landmark commitment by the leaders of the G7. The declaration secures commitment to ensure steps are taken so that “the global devastation caused by coronavirus is never repeated”.
The declaration will incorporate the recommendations set out over the course of the G7. These include greatly reducing the development and licensing time for vaccines, treatments and diagnostics for any future pandemic or disease to under 100 days after the identification of the epidemic threat. This also extends to a need to reinforce surveillance networks and genomic sequencing capacity around the Globe, as well as support for strengthening the World Health Organisation.
Presentations from Melinda French Gates and Sir Patrick Vallance outlined the work of Pandemic Preparedness Partnerships. Overall, the topics addressed by the leaders of the G7 reflect a concrete and long-lasting pledge to protect global and population health.
As part of the commitments made by the leaders of the G7 member states, the UK pledged to establish a new centre for vaccine development to prevent zoonotic diseases from spreading from animals to humans.
Vaccine development was a central priority of the G7 Health Ministers comminique, through which the “importance of promoting and monitoring equitable global access to safe, effective, quality and affordable vaccines” was stressed.
In underlining the importance of developing vaccines, it was also noted that vaccine confidence, and the “severe risk posed by misinformation and disinformation about the importance, safety and effective of vaccines”, is placed atop the list of priorities.
Even though the member states of the G7 represent only 11 per cent of the global population, as of 2018, the G7 accounts for almost 60 per cent of global net wealth. Although the roadmap for execution is not yet entirely clear, the shared pledge is evident, the world must be better prepared for the next epidemic threat, and the only way to appropriately prepare, is together.
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