The British government is hosting an international gathering today that aims to raise at least $7.4 billion for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, an initiative founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation 20 years ago, the alliance said in a statement.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who will be a keynote speaker at the meeting, is expected to say that the vaccine effort is the most “essential shared endeavor of our lifetimes.”

“I hope this summit will be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease,” Mr. Johnson will say, according to prepared remarks. The gathering will bring together heads of state and leading figures such as Mr. Gates and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, chairwoman of the vaccine alliance’s board, who said in a tweet that the coronavirus “is a reminder of the importance of resilient health systems.”

At least 39,728 people have died in Britain because of the coronavirus, according to the British government, but the country has been gradually reopening. Lawmakers returned to Parliament on Tuesday. That decision was criticized after Alok Sharma, the business secretary, seemed unwell and sweated profusely during a statement he made in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Mr. Sharma was subsequently tested for the coronavirus and went home to self-isolate, a spokeswoman said today, adding that he had begun to feel unwell when he was in the chamber.

Source : The New York Times

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