People queue in the rain to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease, outside a vaccination site in Fuyang, Anhui province, China May 15, 2021. Picture taken May 15, 2021. China Daily via REUTERS

Britain said on Saturday (May 15) it plans to hold a virtual meeting on June 2 to encourage global take-up of Covid-19 vaccines, bringing together medical experts, officials from G7 countries and other partners.

The event will discuss how to tackle misinformation about vaccines, including the role social media companies can play in stopping the spread of damaging falsehoods.

Britain, which has one of the world’s fastest inoculation campaigns and an uptake of over 90 per cent in older age groups, hopes to use its presidency of the Group of Seven (G7) nations to improve access to coronavirus vaccines.

Rich countries are generally far ahead of most poorer nations in inoculating their populations. The World Health Organization has repeatedly urged them to do more to help distribute vaccines around the world, including boosting supplies to the COVAX scheme to provide vaccines to poorer nations.

“This UK-hosted Summit is a significant opportunity for G7 countries to come together with partners partners across the world to take action to maintain high levels of trust in vaccines and those that provide them,” vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said in a  statement.

“We must work collectively to ensure people across the world can reclaim their lives and livelihoods.”

Prime minister Boris Johnson will chair a G7 summit in Cornwall, southwestern England, on June 11-13.

US president Joe Biden is expected to attend with other leaders.

In Britain, a first shot has been administered to almost 70 per cent of the adult population and a second to 36 per cent, helping to reduce infection rates and deaths.

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