Billie Eilish and Katy Perry are among the star names to have signed a UNICEF open letter which is urging the Group of Seven (G7) countries to donate coronavirus vaccines to the global vaccine equity initiative COVAX.
The G7 – whose core members are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – are meeting in St Ives, Cornwall from Friday to Sunday (June 11-13) for their latest summit, with the global response to the coronavirus pandemic expected to be top of the agenda.
In an open letter published this morning (June 8), UNICEF has called on the G7 “to agree the actions that will get vaccines where they are most needed, fast”.
The letter has been signed by a number of UNICEF’s high-profile ambassadors and supporters, including Eilish, Perry, Selena Gomez, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, David Beckham, Olivia Colman, Liam Payne and Whoopi Goldberg.
“The pandemic will not be over anywhere until it is over everywhere, and that means getting vaccines to every country, as quickly and equitably as possible,” the letter states.
Dear world leaders…
The pandemic won’t be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere, and that means getting vaccines to every country – fast.
Join our Goodwill Ambassadors and supporters in calling on wealthy G7 countries to #DonateDosesNow.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) June 8, 2021
“UNICEF is already on the ground delivering vaccines on behalf of COVAX, the international vaccine equity initiative. But right now, COVAX is 190 million doses short of where it needs to be, which leaves vulnerable people dangerously unprotected. Some countries have committed to donating vaccines later this year, but doses are needed now.”
UNICEF say that the G7 countries will each have enough doses to donate 20 per cent of their vaccines between June and August – over 150 million doses – “without significant delay to current plans to vaccinate their adult populations”.
“We’re asking you to make these urgent donations by August and to set out a roadmap to scale up donations as supplies increase,” the letter continues. “Forecasts suggest as many as 1 billion doses may be available for donation by year end.
“The hopes of the world rest on your shoulders. Together, you must rise to this challenge. Let’s build a healthier, brighter and fairer future for every child and for everyone.”
Noel Gallagher recently criticised UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his handling of the pandemic, saying that Johnson “has proved himself not to be the fucking man in the crisis”.