HEALTH leaders from across the world will gather in Oxford today for this year's G7 summit, which will be held in-person.

They will convene at Oxford University, which has been at the heart of the global fight against Covid-19, to agree life-saving actions in critical areas of global health.

The two-day meeting, which is set to discuss global health security, antimicrobial resistance, clinical trials, and digital health, has already created waves of controversy.

Campaigners have called on G7 leaders to take action to close the Covid-19 vaccine gap between their nations and poorer countries.

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The People’s Vaccine Alliance said that more than a million people have died from the virus since the G7 leaders last met in February, where the politicians made pledges to increase global supplies.

The campaign group, which includes Health Justice Initiative, Oxfam, and Unaids, calculated that people living in G7 countries were 77 times more likely to be offered a vaccine than those living in the world’s poorest countries.

It claims that between them, the G7 were vaccinating at a rate of 4.6 million people a day in May, meaning everyone living in these nations should be fully vaccinated by January 8 next year if this rate continues.

However, at the current rate – vaccinating 63,000 people a day – the alliance said it would take low income countries some 57 years for everyone to be fully vaccinated.

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The People’s Vaccine Alliance is now urging G7 leaders to 'stop making empty promises and protecting the interests of pharmaceutical companies' and to take action to address vaccine inequalities worldwide.

The calls come ahead of today's meeting, where Health Secretary Matt Hancock is due to meet counterparts from the US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the EU.

Anna Marriott, Oxfam’s health policy manager, commented: "G7 leaders must take this moment to stand on the right side of history by putting their full support behind the vaccine patent waiver supported by more than 100 countries.

"The G7 may be getting the vaccines they need but too much of the world is not and people are paying for patent protection with their lives."

In addition, Extinction Rebellion activists have condemned what they call 'the very limited agenda' of the G7summit this week.

The group is set to hold a demonstration outside the Clarendon Building in Broad Street, where they will be be joined by a Samba band.

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The event will begin at 5pm and end at 7pm.

Campaigner Dr Angela Wilson and Long Hanborough resident commented ahead of the demonstration this evening: "Unfortunately, the climate emergency and its implications for health are not being discussed by the G7 leaders.

"Climate change is the greatest threat to human health that we face.

"The G7 must fund a post pandemic recovery that protects the environment and reduces inequalities across the world.”