UK calls for pledge to vaccinate world by end of 2022
LONDON (AP) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will use the Group of Seven Wealthy Democracies summit next week to urge world leaders to pledge to vaccinate the world’s population by the end of 2022.
Johnson is expected to stress the importance of a global vaccination campaign when he meets other world leaders on Friday in Cornwall, on England’s south-west coast, for the first face-to-face G-7 summit since the start of the pandemic.
“The world expects us to meet the greatest challenge of the post-war period: defeating COVID and leading a global recovery guided by our shared values,” he said in a statement on Sunday. “Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the greatest achievement in the history of medicine.”
US President Joe Boden and the leaders of Canada, France, Italy and Japan will arrive in Cornwall from Friday for three days of talks focused on global recovery from the pandemic.
The UK government pledged in February to donate most of the country’s surplus vaccine supply to COVAX, the United Nations-backed program to deliver vaccines to poorer countries.
But the UK has yet to put a figure on how many doses it will give. The country, which has a population of around 70 million, has ordered some 400 million doses of the vaccine. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK had no excess doses at the moment and “we were just arming them as quickly as possible”.
The Sunday Times reported that Johnson was set to announce at the summit that the UK would pledge to donate more than £ 2 billion in jabs this year, with further donations in 2022.
The United States has said it plans to share 80 million doses of its surplus vaccine globally by the end of June, most through COVAX.
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