Boris Johnson wants the whole world vaccinated by 2022
Boris Johnson will urge G7 leaders to ‘defeat Covid’ by vaccinating the world by the end of 2022.
The Prime Minister is set to stress the importance of the global vaccine programme when he meets with world leaders – including with US President Joe Biden – in Cornwall on Friday for the first face-to-face G7 meeting since the pandemic hit.
In a move he said would be the single greatest feat in medical history, Mr Johnson will call on his counterparts to ‘rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era’ by ‘vaccinating the world by the end of next year’.
It comes as Covid cases continue to surge in the UK amid reports the PM is considering delaying his target of lifting all restrictions in England on June 21 by at least two weeks in order to allow more people to be fully vaccinated.
Mr Johnson said: ‘I’m calling on my fellow G7 leaders to join us to end this terrible pandemic and pledge we will never allow the devastation wreaked by coronavirus to happen again.’
No 10 said the PM will tell his counterparts that the world’s biggest economies must lower barriers to the international distribution of vaccines and share surplus doses with developing countries bilaterally and through Covax, the UN backed scheme aiming to supply developing countries with jabs.
Dr David Nabarro, a special Covid envoy for the World Health Organisation (WHO), described the global vaccination ambition as ‘wonderful’.
Speaking to Sky News’ Trevor Phillips on Sunday programme, Dr Nabarro said endorsement of the move at G7 level would make the possibility of having the world vaccinated by the end of 2022 a ‘real prospect’.
The Sunday Times reported that Mr Johnson is preparing to hand over 100 million vaccine doses to developing countries, donating £2 billion worth of jabs this year to the worldwide push to vaccinate every human against Covid-19.
Most of the jabs will be batches of Oxford/AstraZeneca, the newspaper said.
The UK pledged in February to give surplus doses to Covax but has yet to donate any of the 400 million it has on order, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock arguing that there are no excess jabs available given the NHS’s own vaccine programme is still in full swing.
As part of the UK’s G7 presidency, officials said the PM will encourage support for a global pandemic radar, a surveillance system that will aim to detect vaccine-resistant variants before they have the chance to spread.
Downing Street argued that the UK had ‘led efforts to ensure the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people have access to vaccines’, referencing the part played by the Westminster Government in funding the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
With the jab made available at cost, No 10 said almost one in three shots administered around the world have been the Oxford vaccine, with 96% of the 80 million shots administered by Covax supplied by AstraZeneca.
Officials also highlighted the ‘significant financial contribution’ of £548 million given to Covax in its early formation.
G7 leaders will arrive in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay on Friday for three days of meetings, with a focus on how the group, which includes the US and Germany, can lead the global recovery from coronavirus, officials said.
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