Health ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) countries have committed to a new agreement making it easier and quicker to share results from vaccine and therapeutic trials to tackle COVID-19 and prevent future health threats, according to a statement released on Friday.
A Therapeutics and Vaccines Clinical Trials Charter will be rapidly implemented, according to the G7 Health Ministers' Declaration published after two days of in-person meeting in Oxford, England.
The charter will help deliver high-quality, reliable and comparable evidence from international clinical trials to speed up access to approved treatments and vaccines, said the statement.
This will include stronger collaboration in large scale international trials to enable greater diversity of participants, including pregnant people and children, said the statement.
The charter will also help to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts, more quickly eliminate medicines that do not work, and produce robust clinical evidence that can be extrapolated to a larger number of populations and places to save more lives, it said.
British Health Secretary Matt Hancock, whose country holds the G7 presidency, said the agreement shows the commitment "not just to getting through the COVID-19 crisis, but also to make we're better prepared for future threats".
"It contains a series of measures to make us all safer by improving clinical trials, quicker and wider access to safe vaccines, better use of data, more accurate health surveillance tools and greater collaboration between countries," he said.
"We are determined that, working together, we will beat this virus and build back better."
The G7 includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and the United States. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will gather the G7 leaders for a summit in the southwestern seaside resort of Carbis Bay in Cornwall from June 11 to 13.
Britain is the first European country that passed the grim landmark of 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain stood at 127,812. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
More than 39.7 million people, or more than three-quarters of adults in Britain, have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.
Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has slammed the ban on Russian COVID-19 vaccines imposed by some countries despite the shots proving their efficacy, stressing that such restrictions are absurd and politically motivated.
Putin made the remarks in a speech at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) on Friday.
"Let me remind you that the Russian vaccine is recognized as the safest and most effective. The effectiveness is over 96 percent. And according to our regulatory authorities, there are no deaths from the use of the vaccine," Putin said as quoted by the Russian news agency Sputnik.
Health ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) have committed to a new agreement making it easier and quicker to share results from vaccine and therapeutic trials to tackle COVID-19 and prevent future health threats.