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G-20 opens with call for more vaccines for poor countries


ROME (AP) — Italy’s Premier Mario Draghi made a sharp call to pick up the pace in getting vaccines to poor countries as he opened a conference of the world’s powerhouse economies, calling the gaping global COVID-19 vaccine gap “morally unacceptable.”

Draghi, the host for the two-day Group of 20 summit in Rome, said Saturday that only 3% of people in the world’s poorest countries are vaccinated, while 70% in rich countries have had at least one shot.

Climate change, vaccines, the recovery, international taxation are all themes occupying leaders holding their first in-person summit since the pandemic took hold. The call for more collective vaccine help for low-income countries sounded a theme running through the G-20 summit, which confronts a two-track global recovery in which rich countries are bouncing back faster.

Draghi welcomed the Group of 20 leaders to Rome’s Nuvola cloud-like convention center in the Fascist-era EUR neighborhood, which was sealed off from the rest of the capital.

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