London: The United Kingdom will donate 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccine doses to the world within the next year, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday.
The pledge comes ahead of the G7 Summit, which begins in Cornwall on Friday. Last week the Prime Minister Johson asked fellow G7 leaders to help vaccinate the entire world by the end of next year.
“As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine program we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them,” Johnson will say on Friday, according to excerpts of the announcement released by his office.
This comes amid growing calls for the United States and other rich nations to play a more substantial role in boosting the global supply of coronavirus vaccines.
UK’s announcement comes hours after US President Joe Biden promised half a billion doses of Pfizer vaccines to 92 low and middle-income countries and the African Union.
At the Summit, world leaders are expected to announce they will provide at least 1 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 5 million doses by the end of September, beginning in the coming weeks, primarily for use in the world’s poorest countries.
The UK 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. 80 percent of the 100m doses will go to COVAX and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
By sharing 5 million doses in the coming weeks the UK will meet immediate demand for vaccines for the countries worst affected by coronavirus without delaying completion of our initial domestic vaccination programme.
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.
(With ANI Inputs)