Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide passed a grim milestone of 4 million on June 17, according to a Reuters tally, as many countries struggle to procure enough vaccines to inoculate their populations.

The summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in southwest England saw global leaders pledging at least 1 billion Covid-19 vaccines for underdeveloped countries and struggling nations.

The United States will continue to press for a waiver of intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments even as it and other Group of Seven rich nations sharply expand donations of vaccines to poorer countries.

The United States on June 10 raised the pressure on other Group of Seven (G7) leaders to share their vaccine hoards to bring an end to the pandemic by pledging to donate 500 million doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to the world’s poorest countries.

Britain agreed a partnership with the United States on Thursday to tackle new pandemics by bolstering disease surveillance and genomic sequencing worldwide, on the eve of a G7 leaders’ summit.

France will press its G7 partners this month to launch an “irreversible” process to control the prices of new medicines, part of a global drive to make life-saving drugs more affordable.