If we leave part of the world without vaccines, we risk new variants of the coronavirus that will harm us all. Our message is very clear: no one can be left behind in the vaccination campaign, said the head of the Italian Ministry of Health Roberto Speranza after talks between the G20 health ministers. They signed the Rome Pact on Monday, which included a political deal to send COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.
On Monday, the second day of the meeting of the delegation of the G20 health ministries took place. The host of the meeting, Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza, announced that delegations from all G20 countries signed the Rome Pact, which contained a political agreement to increase support for poor nations and send them more COVID-19 vaccines.
– If we leave part of the world without vaccines, we risk new variants (of the coronavirus – ed.) That will harm us all. Our message is very clear: no one can be left behind in the vaccination campaign, he said. “G20 countries are committed to helping secure vaccine supplies to the most vulnerable countries also through the COVAX initiative,” he said. COVAX is an international program designed to guarantee access to vaccines for the poorest countries.
“The strongest countries in the G20 must take responsibility for helping the weakest in the vaccination campaign, and it must be done immediately,” he said.
Speranza: We need to make poor countries capable of producing COVID-19 vaccines
When asked if the G20 countries had made any concrete new financial commitments, he said the “political goal” of global vaccination was important. – We want to distribute the vaccine to the whole world and we will make the necessary investments – he added. Speranza said financial commitments could be made at a joint G20 health and finance ministerial meeting in October. The minister assessed that it would be “a decisive opportunity to find funds to finance the instruments that we have put on the table”.
Speranza also said that poor countries should also be helped in the context of vaccine production. – Giving doses is not enough. We need to make other parts of the world capable of producing, sharing methodologies and procedures, ‘he said.
The Italian Minister of Health also announced that the G20 countries also committed themselves to strengthening national health systems. – Investments in health care systems are the most important – he assessed.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Riccardo Antimiani