G7 plans to establish a new vaccine programme for developing countries

In addition to the G7, G20 nations and international groups will participate in the new vaccine programme.

The Group of Seven (G7) rich nation is all set to establish a new program to distribute vaccines to developing countries during the next week's summit of leaders, as reported by Japan's Yomiuri newspaper on Saturday. Not just the G7, G20 nations such as India apart from international groups such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank will participate too, the newspaper added, citing Japanese government sources.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVAX facility, which was backed by WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), managed to deliver nearly 2 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine to developing countries. However, it faced setbacks as it could not ensure equitable access.

Wealthy nations, on the other hand, prioritised shots for their citizens while insufficient storage facilities in poorer nations meant supply delays and disposal of millions of close-to-expiry doses.

With the new program, the nations and organisations are now looking to pool rainy-day funds for vaccine production and purchases apart from putting money into low-temperature storages and training of health workers in order to prepare for the next global pandemic, the paper added.

Japan, the country which is this year's chair of the G7 meetings, also prepares to build support from emerging nations, thereby covering a wide-ranging issues such as supply chains, food security and climate change apart from countering the growing influence of China and Russia.

Saturday's meeting of G7 finance ministers have also agreed to offer low- and middle-income countries in order to increase their role in supply chains for energy-related products.

The G7 grouping of Britain, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, is also currently considering if they need to issue a statement on global pandemic response at the May 19-21 summit in Japan's city of Hiroshima. Meanwhile, the the new vaccine program will also be discussed at the G20 Summit in India in September.