Watch live: Bill Gates and heads of state 'including Donald Trump' to join covid-19 vaccine summit

4 June 2020, 10:24

By Asher McShane

Boris Johnson is to urge world leaders to unite in the fight against disease as he hosts a global vaccine summit seeking to raise £6 billion to immunise 300 million children within five years.

Bill Gates and at least 35 heads of state or government will be at the summit
Bill Gates and at least 35 heads of state or government will be at the summit. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister will open the Gavi vaccine alliance meeting on Thursday with a plea over "the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes".

Representatives from 50 countries are expected to join the virtual summit from 1pm UK time, against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been reported that Donald Trump will take part in the summit via a video message.

If the funding target is met, it is hoped 300 million children in the world's poorest nations could be vaccinated against diseases like polio, diphtheria and measles by 2025.

Opening the summit, the PM is expected to say: "I hope this summit will be the moment when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease.

"I urge you to join us to fortify this lifesaving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes."

By vaccinating the children against those diseases, it is hoped it will alleviate the extra pressure heaped on health systems by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The PM will be joined by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and at least 35 heads of state or government, Downing Street said.

The UK has pledged £1.65 billion of funding for Gavi over the next five years.