IMF wants vaccination in needy countries paid for by rich countries and pharmaceutical companies

FMI quer vacinação nos países carenciados paga por países ricos e farmacêuticas

The director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, said this Sunday on the sidelines of the G7 summit that rich countries and pharmaceutical companies should "pay" for coronavirus vaccination programs in developing countries.

Georgieva, who spoke by videoconference at the meeting's plenary in Carbis Bay, southwest England, on Saturday and will speak again this Sunday on the last day of the meeting, was "impressed by how seriously [G7 leaders] have taken the issue of ending the pandemic around the world.

Leaders of some of the planet's most developed democracies have expressed "clear recognition" that helping developing countries fight the coronavirus "is not only a moral imperative, but a necessary step if economic recovery is to be lasting," he told a press conference.

"So we have to make sure that the world makes rich countries and companies pay," stressed the Bulgarian economist.

The IMF Managing Director stressed that the most urgent measure that should be taken is to organize the donation of "surplus vaccines" to the poorest countries.

The G7 (Germany, Canada, the United States, France, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom) hopes to reach a target of delivering 1 billion doses by next year, with the United States pledging 500 million and the United Kingdom another 100 million.

The World Health Organization estimates that 11 billion doses are needed to vaccinate 70% of the world's population, which it wants to do by mid-2022, starting with 40% by the end of this year. 

At the same time, Georgieva stressed, it is critical to start working to "increase production capacity" for vaccines in developing countries.

If large areas of the planet are left unimmunized, new variants of the virus could spread in various parts of the world, which would compromise the most advanced vaccination programs and require the manufacture of new drugs focused on these mutations, he warned.

In this respect, he agreed with World Bank President David Malpass, who also spoke to journalists before his participation in this Sunday's G7 session.

"Vaccination efforts will have to continue late into 2022, and possibly beyond, so there is a need to increase manufacturing capacity," the US economist said.

"It is also very important that research and development continue, because variants of the virus will be a problem in 2022," he warned while showing some reservations about the suspension of patents advocated by some countries and organizations.

Malpass explained that one of the programs the World Bank is working on is the creation of a database to facilitate the donation of vaccines to developing countries.

"We should be able to link surplus production to countries that can use that specific type of vaccine in time, before they lose their shelf life. That is one of the big challenges," he stressed.

The meeting ends this Sunday, with the final communiqué and individual country press conferences planned for early afternoon.

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