UK to donate 100 million Covid vaccines to countries within weeks, PM announces

10 June 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 11 June 2021, 08:10

The PM has pledged 100 million spare vaccine doses at least
The PM has pledged 100 million spare vaccine doses at least. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

The UK will donate the first of at least 100 million surplus coronavirus vaccines to other countries within weeks, Boris Johnson has announced.

Ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall, the Prime Minister said that the full amount of jabs will be distributed over the next year.

The seven leading industrialised nations are poised to agree to providing a billion doses before 2022 to help bring an end to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wealthy nations, which have vaccinated their populations much quicker than less-developed parts of the world, have been encouraged to do more.

Experts stress the importance of rolling out vaccines globally to save lives in poorer nations and prevent new variants developing.

"Since the start of this pandemic the UK has led the way in efforts to protect humanity against this deadly disease,” Mr Johnson said.

"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.

Biden touches down in UK ahead of talks with Johnson and G7 summit

"This unprecedented model, which puts people squarely above profit, means over half a billion doses have been administered in 160 countries so far.

"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."

Mr Johnson's plan will see the UK give out five million doses before October and 25 million before the end of the year.

Read more: G7 summit 2021: Dates, Cornwall location and participating countries revealed

Read more: Johnson calls Biden 'breath of fresh air' following 'great' talks

He said he hoped the rest of the G7 leaders would make similar pledges – though he has been beaten to it by US President Joe Biden.

He has already promised to donate half a billion Pfizer jabs to 92 low and lower middle-income countries and the African Union.

About a fifth of the UK's donated jabs will be given out through agreements made with countries while the rest will be distributed through the Covax scheme, which gets jabs to poorer nations.

LBC's Ben Kentish previews the G7 summit in Cornwall

Downing Street said the donations will not affect the UK's own vaccination programme, which has seen more than 40 million first jabs given out and over 28 million second doses distributed.

It comes despite criticism for cuts to the UK's foreign aid budget, down from the legal target of 0.7% of national income - but the Government is counting vaccine doses as contributing to its overseas assistance.

The G7, which includes the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy, will also set out a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing.

Read more: Boris Johnson and President Biden meet ahead of G7 summit

Mr Johnson will encourage pharmaceutical companies to provide vaccines at cost for the rest of the pandemic, as happened with the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, also known as Janssen, have already pledged to share 1.3 billion doses on a non-profit basis with developing countries.

The UK is also considering if it can give vaccines to delegates ahead of the November Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The family of the three women who were killed in a crossbow attack his week have said they are "devastated"

Family of triple murder victims 'devastated' after Bushey crossbow attack

Breaking News

Dozens killed in air strike on Gaza humanitarian zone, says Hamas

The Princess of Wales is set to attend the Wimbledon Men's final

Princess of Wales to attend Wimbledon men's singles final in second public appearance since cancer diagnosis

Comedian John Bishop has divided fans after announcing he will be changing the time of his gig on Sunday

Wireless Festival and Comedian John Bishop spark controversy after changing set times for England's Euro 2024 final

Joe Biden has insisted he is staying in the race

Democrat donors ‘withhold $90m unless Biden stands down’ as Obama and Pelosi ‘oppose President’s re-election bid’

Two suitcases with human remains inside were found in Bristol

Armed police arrest man, 34, at train station following discovery of human remains in Bristol and west London

Princess Anne has returned to public duties for the first time since her accident

Princess Anne 'can't remember a single thing' about horse-related accident as she returns to public duties

Tony Blair was among a star-studded guest list at the wedding of the son of India's richest man

Tony Blair, Boris Johnson and wrestling star John Cena among guests at lavish wedding of Asia's richest man

Jay Slater went missing nearly a month ago

Jay Slater ‘looked unwell’ hours before he went missing, says Tenerife nightclub waitress who ‘gave him water’

Actor Alec Baldwin reacts during his trial for involuntary manslaughter

Alec Baldwin weeps in court as judge dismisses manslaughter case against actor after fatal shooting on film set

Police have named 24-year-old Colombian national Yostin Andres Mosquera as suspect

Suspect named in manhunt as more human remains found in flat after two bodies discovered in suitcases in Bristol

Patrice Evra has been given a suspended 12-month sentence after being found guilty of abandoning his family for over two years

Man United legend Evra given suspended 12-month prison sentence after being found guilty of abandoning family

The Prince of Wales will attend Sunday's Euro 2024 final in Berlin

Prince William to attend Euro final 2024 in Berlin as England take on Spain

Gareth Southgate has said it would be “emotionally impossible” to make a “logical decision” on his future

'Emotionally imposssible' to make decision on future ahead of Euro 2024 final, says England boss Southgate

A crime scene has been set up in Shepherd's Bush, west London

Manhunt for suspect widens to London after human remains of two men found in suitcases in Bristol

More than 1,800 jobs and 272 stores are at risk as major retailer Carpetright is headed towards administration

Carpetright heads towards administration in move that would put all of its 272 stores and nearly 2,000 jobs at risk