- UK to donate at least 100 million excess doses of coronavirus vaccine over the next year, including 5 million from the coming weeks
- The donation adds to the UK’s work to support Oxford-AstraZeneca’s contribution to the fight against COVID and our financial support to COVAX
- G7 leaders expected to agree to deliver 1 billion doses through dose sharing and funding to end pandemic in 2022
The UK will donate 100 million excess doses of coronavirus vaccine to the world over the next year, the Prime Minister announced today (June 11, 2021).
The engagement precedes the G7 summit, which begins today in Cornwall. Last week, the Prime Minister asked his fellow G7 leaders to help immunize the whole world by the end of next year.
At the summit, world leaders are expected to announce that they will provide at least 1 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine to the world through dose sharing and funding and will establish a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing to achieve this goal. .
The UK will donate 5 million doses by the end of September, starting in the coming weeks, mostly for use in the world’s poorest countries. The Prime Minister also pledged to donate 95 million additional doses over the next year, including 25 million more by the end of 2021. 80% of the 100 million doses will go to COVAX and the rest will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.
By sharing 5 million doses in the coming weeks, the UK will meet an immediate demand for vaccines for countries worst affected by the coronavirus without delaying the completion of our initial national vaccination program.
By vaccinating more people around the world, not only will we help end the global coronavirus pandemic, but we will reduce the risk to people in the UK. This includes the significant reduction in the threat posed by vaccine-resistant variants emerging in areas with large-scale epidemics.
The UK helped establish COVAX last year and is its fourth donor, pledging £ 548million to the program. COVAX has so far delivered 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 British government, Oxford-AstraZeneca distributes its vaccines on a non-profit basis around the world. As a result of this commitment, half a billion people have so far received a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The Prime Minister said:
Since the start of this pandemic, the UK has led the way in efforts to protect humanity from this deadly disease. Over a year ago, we funded the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on the basis that it would be distributed at cost to the world.
This unprecedented model, which puts people above profit, means more than half a billion doses have been administered in 160 countries to date.
Thanks to the success of the UK vaccination program, we are now able to share some of our excess doses with those who need them. In doing so, we will take a giant step towards defeating this pandemic for good.
At the G7 summit, I hope my fellow leaders will make similar commitments so that together we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and rebuild better from the coronavirus.
At the G7, leaders will also discuss how to expand vaccine supply internationally, with the Prime Minister asking the group to encourage pharmaceutical companies to adopt the Oxford-AstraZeneca model of providing vaccines at cost. cost during the duration of the pandemic. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have already pledged to share 1.3 billion nonprofit doses with developing countries.
Leaders are expected to discuss additional ways to support countries facing acute coronavirus emergencies and put in place mechanisms to prevent future pandemics. This follows on from commitments made at the virtual meeting of G7 leaders earlier this year.
The cost of donating UK surpluses will be classified as ODA. This will be in addition to the £ 10 billion already committed this year.
The doses the UK has announced it will give today will be taken from the UK’s expected oversupply. The 100 million figure was calculated based on the total needed to vaccinate the UK population, taking into account the possibility of detection of future vaccine resistant strains and potential disruption to our supply.
Later this year, the UK will also host the United Nations climate change conference, COP26. Today, the UK is also announcing that in order to allow more representatives to participate safely, we will work to provide vaccines to accredited delegations that would not otherwise be able to obtain them. We are exploring with the UN and our partners how we can work together to deliver this offer.
This means that countries most affected by climate change will be better able to fully participate in discussions on creating a greener future for the planet.