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Gordon Brown: G7 must bear the burden of vaccinating the world

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The writer is a former UK prime minister

With the virulent B. 1.617.2 variant of Covid-19, which was first detected in India, spreading across Asia and Africa and now taking root in Britain, we are once again confronted with the unanswerable truth that no one is safe anywhere until everyone is safe everywhere. 

Fortunately, the forthcoming G7 summit provides us with a unique opportunity to stop Covid-19 in its tracks.

The miracle that is science has given us multiple vaccines and nearly half of US and UK citizens have now received at least one Covid shot. But just 11 per cent of India and little more than 1 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa has been vaccinated.

This failure is man-made: it took nine months in 2020 to reach 1m deaths when we had no vaccine. But even after a vaccine had become available, we reached 2m deaths in four months and 3m in the next three.

By failing to ramp up vaccination more rapidly, we are dividing…

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