British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today announce his commitment to redistribute most of the UK’s surplus vaccine supply to the poorest countries, during his speech at a virtual G7 meeting.
According to the British media, the head of the British Executive, who is chairing the G7 meeting, will also urge countries to reduce the time needed to accelerate the development of future vaccines to one hundred days in the event of new global health crises.
The UK ordered more than 400 million doses of various vaccines, so it is estimated that it will have a large surplus once all adults are vaccinated.
Until yesterday, the United Kingdom, the country hardest hit by the pandemic with more than 119,000 deaths, has already vaccinated almost 17 million people with a first dose.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Foreign Secretary and MP James Cleverly said the UK would be looking at a significantly higher figure than French President Emmanuel Macron estimated in an interview with the Financial Times.
Macron argued that the richest countries should send between 4% and 5% of their current vaccine supplies to the poorest nations.
Cleverly, considered that the British Government would be a “global force for good” in the fight against the pandemic and that unlike “some countries”, the United Kingdom would not use the promise of vaccine supply as “short-term diplomatic lever ”.
According to a government source told the BBC, more than half of the excess doses would go to the Global Access Fund for Vaccines called Covax, a UN initiative aimed at ensuring wider access to the fight against the coronavirus.
According to data provided by the NGO, ONE Campaign, shows that Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States and the European Union (EU) have already secured more than 3,000 million doses, 1,200 million more than they need to give their entire population two doses.
For the ONE Campaign, stockpiling vaccines in rich countries will ultimately slow the recovery from the pandemic everywhere for everyone and believes that ensuring equitable access to vaccines is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do.
In this sense, the British Government donated 548 million pounds to the UN-led plan to bring vaccines to the poorest countries.