British Prime Minister Prime Minister Boris Johnson Thursday opened the Global Vaccine Summit, a virtual gathering of more that 50 countries, to raise funds for the U.N.-backed public-private health alliance known as GAVI, with the goal of ensuring vaccines are available to all.
The summit hopes to raise more than $7.5 billion for the development and equitable world-wide distribution of COVID-19 and other vaccines.
In his remarks from London, Johnson pledged Britain will contribute just over $2 billion to the GAVI vaccine alliance over the next five years. Along with creation of a COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson also called on nations to replenish funding for vaccines that already exist.
In a recorded video message, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for global solidarity to ensure every person everywhere has access to any COVID-19 vaccine that is produced, and for the network that is used to share that vaccine be used to deliver a range of basic health services.
Using data provided by governments around the world, Johns Hopkins University reports the COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 386,000 worldwide and crippled economies. Restrictions imposed to prevent the virus from spreading have further hampered efforts to deliver regular vaccinations and other health services around the world.
Source: Voice of America