Falmouth, United Kingdom:
Britain said on Thursday that G7 leaders would agree to expand global COVID vaccine manufacturing to provide the world with at least one billion doses through sharing and funding schemes.
The UK, which is hosting the Big Powers gathering in south-west England, said it would donate at least 100 million surplus doses within the next year, with five million beginning in the coming weeks.
The commitment follows growing calls by wealthy countries to step up their efforts to share Covid-19 shots with less developed countries, with charities warning of the current situation being “vaccine apartheid”.
Britain, which has orders for more than 400 million doses, has faced criticism for failing to start donating to poor countries.
But on the eve of welcoming world leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy countries to their first summit in nearly two years, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson vowed that would soon change.
“As a result of the success of the UK vaccine programme, we are now in a position to share some of our additional doses with those who need them,” he said.
“By doing this we will take a big step towards defeating this pandemic forever.
“At the G7 summit, I hope my fellow leaders make similar pledges so that, by the end of next year, we can vaccinate the world and build better from the coronavirus.”
A Downing Street statement said: “The summit is expected to invite world leaders to announce that they will provide at least one billion coronavirus vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and funding, and to achieve that goal.” Will prepare a plan to expand vaccine manufacturing to achieve
According to Johnson’s office, Britain will donate five million doses by the end of September in the coming weeks, mainly for use in the world’s poorest countries.
It said the UK has committed to donate a further 95 million within the next year, including another 25 million by the end of 2021.
About 80 percent of the jobs will go to the Covax plan, which aims to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines around the world, with the remainder being shared bilaterally.
The United States said on Thursday it would donate 500 million jobs to 92 poor and lower-middle-income countries.
Meanwhile EU members have agreed to donate at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021 – with France and Germany each committed to providing 30 million.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)