EU and US Discuss Efforts to Deliver 1.7 Billion Vaccines Globally by Mid-2022
Senior European Commission officials have met with senior White House and other U.S. government officials on progress and next steps towards achieving the US-EU Agenda for Beating the Global Pandemic Vaccinating the World, Saving Lives Now, and Building Back Better Health Security. Led by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s Head of Cabinet Björn Seibert, and US Principal Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer, both sides agreed on the importance of the Transatlantic partnership in ending the pandemic and strengthening global health security in the long term.
Following a briefing on the Omicron variant, the two sides discussed a number of areas including ongoing efforts to donate and deliver more than 1.7 billion vaccine doses around the world by mid-2022; accelerating efforts to get shots into arms, including assistance to countries in need; and other areas such as cooperating on COVID-19 supply chains, joint health threat assessments and R&D. The two delegations reiterated their call for stronger actions and commitments from nations around the world in this effort.
The delegations also agreed that bold action is needed to prepare for the next pandemic. Both sides agreed on the importance of a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) for global health security and pandemic preparedness with sustainable capitalization and noted the importance of working together with the EU member states, the G20, lower-middle income countries, World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), and additional organisations to accomplish this goal.
According to our World in Data, less than 50% of the global population has received a double-dose of a Covid vaccine. Last week, the heads of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group, World Health Organization and World Trade Organization held high-level consultations with Gavi, the vaccine alliance, and UNICEF aimed at increasing the use of COVID-19 vaccines and other critical medical countermeasures in low-income (LIC) and lower middle-income (LMIC) countries and supporting countries to be better prepared, resourced, and ready to roll out vaccines.
Attendees agreed on the urgency to accelerate vaccinations in LICs, where under 5% of the population is fully vaccinated, as well as in LMICs, where around 30% of the population is fully vaccinated. Representatives present agreed to work with countries to support and strengthen their national vaccination goals consistent with the global target to vaccinate 70% of the populations in all countries by mid-2022. The emergence of the Omicron variant was highlighted as underscoring the vital need for fair and broad access to vaccines as well as testing, sequencing, and treatments to end the pandemic.