UK prime minister Boris Johnson announced on Friday his country will provide 100 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), surplus to its requirements, to the world within the next year.
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“As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine program, we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them,” Johnson said, according to excerpts of the announcement released by his office. The announcement came ahead of the G-7 summit, which will begin later on Friday and will be hosted by the UK. Also, last week, Johnson called upon leaders of the UK’s fellow G-7 countries — the US, Canada, France, Italy, Germany and Japan — to vaccinate the entire world “by the end of next year.”
The first five million doses will be donated by the end of September, beginning in the coming weeks. Of the remaining 95 million doses, 25 million will be donated before the end of the year. Eighty million of these 100 million doses will be shared through Covax, the global Covid-19 vaccine sharing program. The remainder will be shared bilaterally with the countries in need.
The statement from Johnson’s office followed an announcement made just hours earlier by US President Joe Biden, who is in the UK to participate in the G-7 summit, that the United States will purchase 500 million doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine to donate to 92 low and middle-income countries, as well as the African Union.
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Last week, the Biden administration announced plans to donate 80 million excess doses of Covid-19 vaccines to countries in need.
At the G-7 Summit, leaders of the participating nations are expected to announce they will provide at least one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to the world through dose sharing and financing.
(With ANI inputs)