G20 health ministers vow higher Covid-19 vaccine availability worldwide

Rome, Sep 6 (EFE).- The G20 health ministers meeting in Rome on Monday unanimously agreed to ease access to Covid-19 vaccines for all countries worldwide.

In remarks to the media, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza did not mention specific numbers but said the G20 nations all pledged to send a greater amount of resources and vaccines to countries in need.

He said the increased allocations will be determined in a forthcoming meeting of G20 health and economy ministers that will take place prior to a G20 Heads of State and Government Summit scheduled for Oct. 30-31 in Rome.

Some participants also suggested allowing all countries to produce Covid-19 vaccines as opposed to being restricted to importing them. In that regard, a proposal was tabled to temporarily suspend patent rights for Covid-19 vaccines, although no agreement was reached on the matter.

Speranza regretted the lack of agreement on patent suspension and reasserted Italy’s position in favor of extending vaccine production to all parts of the world, saying “transferring doses is not enough” to effectively fight the pandemic.

Another objective set by the G20 ministers, according to Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias, is to ensure that 40 percent of the world’s population has received the full vaccine series by the end of 2021. EFE


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