G20 Health Ministers agree that Vaccine Distribution Process should be More Equitable

At a Sunday discussion in Rome on the next steps in the attempt to suppress the coronavirus, the health ministers of the world’s 20 most powerful economies decided to work toward greater parity in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

The conditions are in place for the G20 ministers to agree to the Rome Pact, according to Italy’s health minister, Roberto Speranza.

One of the pact’s core commitments is a more equitable distribution of vaccines outside of wealthy countries, based on the shared view that vaccination is a right for everyone, not a privilege for a select few, according to Speranza.

On the margins of the conference, Health Minister Jens Spahn said that Germany plans to make 100 million coronavirus vaccine doses accessible for the international vaccination campaign by the end of the year.

“That is the same amount as we have vaccinated in our own country so far,” Spahn said, adding that the contribution will assist achieve the aim of vaccinating at least 40% of the world’s population by 2022.

The pandemic is only over when it’s over globally, according to Spahn, who also warned about the dangers of variations in the absence of a global response.

This is one of the final G20 ministerial meetings before the G20 leaders gather in Rome at the end of October.

Participants at the two-day summit are also debating how future pandemics might be avoided or countries better prepared, as well as how to make scientific knowledge more accessible around the world.

The meeting’s organizers stated that the purpose is to send a “strong message of cooperation, solidarity, and justice, in the firm belief no one should be left behind.”

The G20 countries have been urged to acknowledge the digital Covid-19 vaccination certificates. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko believes it is critical to adopt uniform measures to vaccinated people traveling across borders.

“To this end, it is important to consider mutual recognition of the vaccination”. According to previous reports, Russia is already in negotiations with the EU, but little progress has been made so far.

Both Spahn and Speranza emphasized the importance of vaccination now, as the pandemic progresses in the coming months.

If sluggish vaccination campaigns do not pick up momentum again, Speranza suggested imposing limitations.

“Either we reinvigorate the vaccination campaign, or we are forced to imagine that at a certain point, past measures will become necessary,” Speranza said in reaction to the virus, which is still prevalent.

Speranza had welcomed experts for discussions on mental health in the run-up to the gathering. He stated, There is no health and well-being without complete mental health”. “In the difficult months of the pandemic, this has become even more important” he said. 

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