THE UK will donate 100 million surplus vaccine doses to poorer countries in the next year, Boris Johnson has pledged.
Mr Johnson vowed to “take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good” as he prepares to host the G7 summit in Cornwall.
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Boris Johnson, seen here with Joe Biden ahead of Friday’s G7 summit, is pledging to donate 100 million surplus vaccines from the UK’s supply[/caption]
The G7 leaders are expected to commit to providing a billion vaccine doses in a bid to end the Covid pandemic in 2022.
It comes after US President Joe Biden announced the US would buy 500 million Pfizer doses for other countries.
The UK is set to begin sharing the jabs in the next few weeks, but the move is not expected to delay domestic rollout of the vaccines.
Eighty per cent of the 100million doses will be distributed through the Covax global vaccine-supply scheme for poorer countries, of which Britain is already one of the largest donors.
Under the Prime Minister’s plan, the UK will provide five million doses by the end of September, with 25 million more by the end of 2021.
Mr Johnson said: “As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine programme we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them.
“In doing so we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good.
“At the G7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus.”
We are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them
This week’s G7 summit at the Carbis Bay coastal estate will bring together the leaders of the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy.
They are also set to map out a plan to ramp up vaccine manufacturing in order to hit the billion doses target for donated jabs.
The PM’s jab pledge comes after he revealed his vision to “vaccinate the world”.
Ahead of the start of the G7 summit, Mr Bide and Mr Johnson met yesterday as leaders for the first time – with the US President joking “we both married above our station”.
Astrazeneca, through its deal with the University of Oxford, is providing its vaccine at cost price to developing countries.
The Prime Minister is set to ask the G7 leaders to urge pharma giants to adopt the Oxford-AstraZeneca model of providing vaccines at cost price.
Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, also known as Janssen, have already pledged to share 1.3 billion doses on a non-profit basis with developing countries.
Mr Johnson added: “Since the start of this pandemic the UK has led the way in efforts to protect humanity against this deadly disease.
“Over a year ago we funded the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on the basis it would be distributed at cost to the world.
“This unprecedented model, which puts people squarely above profit, means over half a billion doses have been administered in 160 countries so far.”
The UK has gone back on a commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid, cutting the amount to 0.5 per cent.
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But the donation of vaccines will count as extra aid spending on top of the £10 billion already promised under the reduced target.
The UK has set a target of offering all adults a vaccine before the end of July.
So far, 40,886,878 Brits – 61.2 per cent of the total population – has had one jab, with 28,857,102 – or 43.2 per cent of the total population – fully protected with two doses.