US President Joe Biden will reportedly propose a target for 70% of the world’s population to be vaccinated within the next year at a global vaccines summit he intends to convene alongside the UN general assembly in New York this month.
- The US president’s target is in line with ambitions set jointly by the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the WTO and the World Health Organization (WHO) but is more ambitious than current performance and the targets set at the G7 meeting in Cornwall chaired by the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. The G7 agreed to donate 870m doses of Covid-19 vaccines directly, with an aim to deliver at least half by the end of 2021.
- In June the heads of the World Bank Group, IMF, WHO and World Trade Organization (WTO) set a target of having 60% of the world’s population vaccinated by the middle of 2022.
- Meanwhile, more than 140 Nobel laureates and former heads of state have signed an open letter calling on Germany to support a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID vaccines. Their call comes as a World Trade Organization panel is set to convene this week to discuss a patent waiver nearly a year after India and South Africa proposed the move, which would require the unanimous consent of all 164 WTO member nations.
- A handful of countries, led by Germany and the United Kingdom, have so far refused to agree to a patent waiver. Joining the call for a People’s Vaccine is California Democratic Congress member Ro Khanna.
- In New Zealand, it has reopened its border bookings to those trying to return home, as cases in its current Covid outbreak continue to decline.
- The country reported 14 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, all of which were linked to existing cases. Auckland, the center of the outbreak, remains in lockdown, but the rest of the country can now operate relatively freely, with mask requirements and some restrictions on gathering size.
However, now older Americans were more likely to suffer pandemic-related economic difficulties compared with older citizens of other wealthy countries, according to a new survey from the Commonwealth Fund.