By Deirdre Tynan • 11 June 2021 • 6:09
The UK will donate 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses to the world within the next year, the Prime Minister announced on June 10.
The UK will donate at least 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses within the next year, including five million beginning in the coming weeks.
Donation is in addition to UK work to support Oxford-AstraZeneca’s contribution to fighting COVID and the UK’s financial backing to COVAX.
G7 leaders are expected to agree to provide one billion doses via dose sharing and financing to end the pandemic in 2022.
The pledge comes ahead of the G7 Summit, which begins in Cornwall today. Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked fellow G7 leaders to help vaccinate the entire world by the end of next year.
At the Summit world leaders are expected to announce they will provide at least one billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and financing and set out a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing in order to achieve that goal.
The UK will donate five million doses by the end of September, beginning in the coming weeks, primarily for use in the world’s poorest countries. The Prime Minister has also committed to donating a further 95 million doses within the next year, including 25 million more by the end of 2021. Eighty per cent of the 100 million doses will go to COVAX and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
“By sharing five million doses in the coming weeks the UK will meet an immediate demand for vaccines for the countries worst affected by coronavirus without delaying completion of our initial domestic vaccination programme,” the government said in a statement
“By vaccinating more people around the world not only will we help bring an end to the global coronavirus pandemic, we will reduce the risk to people in the UK. This includes significantly reducing the threat posed by vaccine-resistant variants emerging in areas with large-scale outbreaks,” it added.
The UK helped to establish COVAX last year and is its fourth-biggest donor, pledging £548 million to the scheme. COVAX has so far provided 81 million doses to 129 of the world’s poorest countries, 96 percent of these were the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the development of which was funded by the UK.
With the support of the UK Government, Oxford-AstraZeneca are distributing their vaccines on a not for profit basis the world. Half a billion people have received a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine so far.
The Prime Minister said, “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.
“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,” he added.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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