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G7 nations expected to donate at least 1 billion vaccine doses: British govt
Britain has also committed to donating a further 95 million within the next year, including 25 million more by the end of 2021.
Ahead of the start of the G7 summit in the UK on Friday, the Boris Johnson government gave an optimistic promise for the fight against COVID-19.
A Downing Street statement said, "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 has been criticised for not announcing donations of COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries. Speaking on Thursday, Prime Minister Johnson 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. 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."
AFP reported "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..."
Earlier on Thursday, Johnson met with US President Joe Biden ahead of the G7 summit. Biden had announced the US would donate 500 million vaccine doses to the UN's COVAX initiative to supply vaccines to poorer nations. Biden also urged other world leaders to join him in the initiative to help poorer nations with COVID-19 vaccines.
Associated Press reported "White House officials said the 500 million vaccines [from the US] will be shipped starting in August, with the goal of distributing 200 million by the end of the year. The remaining 300 million doses would be shipped in the first half of 2022."
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan was quoted by Associated Press as telling reporters on Wednesday that G-7 leaders are “converging” around the idea that vaccine supply can be increased in several ways, including by countries sharing more of their own doses, helping to increase global manufacturing capacity and doing more across the “chain of custody” from when the vaccine is produced to when it is injected into someone in the developing world.
Sullivan said Biden “does want to show—rallying the rest of the world's democracies—that democracies are the countries that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere”. The haste by the US in announcing additional vaccine shipments comes even as Russia and China have begun sharing their domestically produced vaccines.
The COVAX initiative has lagged in recent months, in part due to the disruption of vaccine supplies from India.
"The global alliance has thus far distributed just 81 million doses and parts of the world, particularly in Africa, remain vaccine deserts," Associated Press reported.