Merkel pledges money, doses to help poorer countries vaccinate

Weekly German cabinet meeting
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, May 19, 2021. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi/Pool

BERLIN, May 21 (Reuters) - Germany has committed a further 100 million euros to the COVAX global vaccine initiative and will directly donate up to 30 million surplus vaccine doses to poorer countries, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday.

Merkel urged other EU countries to follow Germany's example in giving any left-over vaccines to countries that lack their own supplies. She was speaking at a news conference after a G20 summit on COVAX, which aims to ensure less developed countries can also vaccinate their populations.

"We want to strengthen the role of the World Health Organisation," she said, adding that there would also be a leaders' meeting on this issue in coming days.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt Editing by Paul Carrel

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