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South Korea pledges US$200 million to international COVID-19 vaccine effort

South Korea pledges US$200 million to international COVID-19 vaccine effort

FILE PHOTO: Ethiopian Airlines staff unload AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccines under the COVAX scheme against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from a cargo plane at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 7, 2021. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

SEOUL: South Korea has pledged to donate a total of US$200 million to the COVAX programme that is supplying coronavirus vaccines for lower-income countries, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) said on Friday (Jun 18).

COVAX, backed by GAVI and the World Health Organization (WHO), aims to secure 2 billion vaccine doses by the end of 2021.

“The Republic of Korea pledges a contribution of a total of US$100 million this year, and in 2022 another US$100 million in the form of a combination of financial and in-kind contribution,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement by GAVI.

READ: G7 to donate 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to poorer countries

While wealthy nations with robust vaccination campaigns have inoculated large swaths of their populations, much of the world lags far behind, raising concerns of more COVID-19 waves that could spawn new virus variants.

Leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) rich nations agreed over the weekend to pledge 870 million vaccine doses, with the aim of delivering at least half by the end of this year.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus welcomed this on Monday but said that many more doses were needed and quickly.

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Source: Reuters/kg

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