G-20 to ‘spare no effort’ for equitable COVID-19 vaccine access

G-20 to ‘spare no effort’ for equitable COVID-19 vaccine access

Pandemic and its economic impact at the center of two-day summit

JAKARTA — Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies said they will “spare no effort” to ensure affordable and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all people, as they concluded a two-day virtual meeting.

The pledge comes as global concerns mount over whether vaccines will only be available for the rich and powerful, with those on the lower rungs of the income ladder unable to gain access.

The G-20 leaders said in a joint communique on Sunday that the “pandemic and its unprecedented impact in terms of lives lost, livelihoods and economies affected, is an unparalleled shock,” but the world’s leading 20 nations will “continue to spare no effort to protect lives, provide support with a special focus on the most vulnerable.”

The nations will “spare no effort to ensure affordable and equitable access [to vaccines] for all people, consistent with members’ commitments to incentivize innovation,” the communique said, adding that they “fully support all collaborative efforts” including COVAX, a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization with the aim of distributing COVID-19 vaccines equally.

In their meeting yesterday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing will “work to make vaccines a global public good accessible and affordable to people around the world.” The world’s second-largest economy has several vaccines in development, with some already being deployed. Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that Moscow was ready to provide its vaccine to countries that need it.