IMF chief: 1 billion vaccine doses only a start

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IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said the donations are a good step but more needs to be done to overcome the hurdles needed to deliver shots into arms. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund managing director says there’s a moral imperative for the world’s richest countries to back programs to end the COVID-19 pandemic but the donation of excess vaccines is only the first step.

Kristalina Georgieva’s comments in a virtual press conference at the Group of Seven summit Sunday in England came after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he hoped G-7 leaders would agree to provide at least 1 billion vaccine doses for poorer countries. Humanitarian groups have welcomed the donations, but are calling for money, increased production and logistical support to help developing countries where the virus is still raging.

Georgieva said the donations are a good step but more needs to be done to overcome the hurdles needed to deliver shots into arms.

“This is a moral imperative, but it is a necessity for the economic recovery to stick, because we can’t have the world split into two tracks without negative consequences,” Georgieva said.

While almost half of the combined population of the G-7 nations has received at least one dose of vaccine, the worldwide figure is less than 13%. In Africa, it’s just 2.2%.

“The war is not yet won,” she said.

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