The Financial Express

UK to donate 100m vaccines to poorer countries

| Updated: June 18, 2021 11:43:54

UK to donate 100m vaccines to poorer countries

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that the UK will donate at least 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses within the next year, including 5.0 million beginning in the coming weeks.

The donation is in addition to the UK work to support Oxford-AstraZeneca’s contribution to fighting COVID and the UK's financial backing to COVAX, reports UNB.

The UK will donate 5.0 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.

Some 80 per cent of the 100m doses will go to COVAX and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.

By sharing 5,0 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.

Last week the British Prime Minister asked fellow G7 leaders to help vaccinate the entire world by the end of next year.

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.

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% 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.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson 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," he 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.

The doses the UK has announced it will donate today will be drawn from the UK’s expected excess supply.

The 100 million figure has been calculated based on the total needed to vaccinate the UK population, factoring in the possibility of future vaccine-resistant strains being detected and potential disruptions to our supply.

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