London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for a vaccine fundraising summit to be held in the shadow of the coronavirus on Thursday on the occasion of the “new era of global health cooperation”.
The purpose of the virtual meeting is to raise $7.4 billion for the immunization program that was stopped due to the pandemic, and will see the launch of new fundraising activities to support the potential COVID-19 vaccine.
“I hope this summit will be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease,” Johnson said in a statement.
He said he hoped it would “inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes”.
More than 50 countries are taking part in Thursday s meeting, as well as individuals such as philanthropist Bill Gates, and will raise funds for Gavi, the vaccine alliance.
In the next five years, it hopes to restart the suspended program in the countries it supports-enabling it to obtain vaccines at a greatly reduced price-aiming to reach approximately 300 million children.
Gavi and its partners will also initiate financing activities to purchase potential COVID-19 vaccines, expand their production scale and support delivery to developing countries.
This epidemic exposed a new breakdown in international cooperation, especially in the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from the World Health Organization (WHO).
But Johnson warned that countries such as the United Kingdom, which suffered the most deaths from coronavirus in Europe, would benefit from helping developing countries.
“This support for routine immunisations will shore up poorer countries healthcare systems to deal with coronavirus — and so help to stop the global spread,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“This virus has shown how connected we are. We re fighting an invisible enemy. And no one is safe frankly until we are all safe.”
According to Agence France-Presse official statistics, more than 380,000 people have been killed since the Coronavirus pandemic emerged in China last December.
The implementation of whole-house service orders worldwide has caused a huge economic disruption, and many routine immunization services have been suspended.
WHO, UNICEF UNICEF and Garvey warned last month that vaccine services were interrupted in nearly 70 countries, affecting approximately 80 million children under one year of age.
UNICEF said that polio eradication campaigns have been suspended in dozens of countries, while measles vaccination campaigns have also been suspended in 27 countries.
The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine recently adopted a model supported by Gavi to estimate that in Africa, every coronavirus death prevented by stopping the vaccination campaign can cause up to 140 people to die from vaccine-preventable diseases.
“More children in more countries are now protected against more diseases than at any point in history,” said Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi.
“However, these historic advances in global health are now at risk of unravelling as COVID-19 causes unprecedented disruption to vaccine programmes worldwide.
“We face the very real prospect of a global resurgence of diseases like measles, polio and yellow fever, which would put us all at risk.”