UK will donate 100 million vaccine shots; G7 commits to provide 1 billion jabs to ‘world’
Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson makes a thumbs-up gesture during a bi-lateral meeting with US President Joe Biden (unseen) at Carbis Bay, Cornwall on June 10, 2021, ahead of the three-day G7 summit being held from 11-13 June. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
BRITAIN has declared on Thursday (10) that it will donate at least 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses within the next year, including five million beginning in the coming weeks. The announcement comes as G7 leaders agreed to expand global Covid vaccine manufacturing to provide at least one billion doses to the world through sharing and financing schemes.
A day before, the US has announced that it will donate 500 million jabs to 92 poor and lower-middle-income nations.
Britain, which has orders for more than 400 million doses, has faced criticism for failing to make donations to poorer countries.
But on the eve of welcoming world leaders from the group of seven wealthy nations to their first summit in almost two years, British prime minister Boris Johnson vowed that things will soon change.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
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, according to Johnson’s office.
Britain has also committed to donating a further 95 million within the next year, including 25 million more by the end of 2021, it added.
Around 80 per cent of the jabs will go to the COVAX scheme, which aims to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world, with the remainder will be shared bilaterally.
Meanwhile, EU members have agreed to donate at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021 with France and Germany each committing to providing 30 million.
The set of commitments follow growing calls for richer countries to step up their efforts to share Covid-19 shots with less-developed nations, with charities warning the current situation is leading to “vaccine apartheid”.