The UK-hosted G7 Health Ministers meeting, held in Oxford on June 3-4, 2021, agreed to a set of new measures aimed at curbing future pandemics and tackling antimicrobial resistance.
The G7 health ministers agreed amongst other things to:
- A new charter that will make it easier to share comparable and high-quality data from vaccine and therapeutic trials to assist with tackling COVID-19 and future pandemics. The charter will also enable more large-scale international trials allowing for drugs to be tested on a more diverse set of participants and it will help to avoid duplication of efforts.
- Strengthen efforts to work together on One Health intelligence through the production of an interim report at the end of 2021 outlining how the WHO, FAO, OIE, and UNEP can work together to deliver a comprehensive set of data on emerging threats to human, animal, plant and environmental health.
- Establish principles to incentivize the creation of, greater access to, and the good governance of new antibiotics in response to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.
The G7 Health Ministers also took the opportunity to take stock of the progress that the G7 countries have made on meeting existing global health commitments. A report produced by the hosts of the G7 called the Carbis Bay Progress report showed that G7 countries have:
- Worked with organizations and partners to strengthen health systems, with financing for general health rising from 38% in 2015 to 47% in 2019;
- Funded partners to do more noting for example in the case of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance that its health system strengthening funding grew from 21% of total spend in 2016 to 31% in 2019;
- Supported 74 countries to strengthen the International Health Regulations which are rules for identifying a disease outbreak and stopping it from spreading; and
- Provided support for health workers.
Finally, the UK-hosted G7 Vaccine Confidence Summit resulted in an agreement to pursue a new global campaign to build confidence in vaccines. The campaign will be taken forward by the G7 Vaccine Confidence Working Group which the UK chairs and will encourage engagement of government, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to mobilize their partners.