Business & Finance
UK's PM to pledge surplus COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries at virtual G7 meet
19 February 2021 -

BBC News reported on Friday that the Prime Minister of UK, Boris Johnson, will pledge to donate a majority of the UK's surplus COVID-19 vaccine supply to poorer countries, in a speech to a virtual G7 meeting to be held later.

According to a UK government source, over half of the UK's excess vaccine doses would go to COVAX, a UN initiative intended to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

So far, the UK has ordered over 400 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccines, so many will be left over once all adults are vaccinated. However, the volume of surplus will depend on the vaccine supply chain and whether booster shots are needed in the autumn.

Reportedly, the vast majority of COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered by high-income countries so far. But there remain over 100 poorer countries where not a single dose has been given.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has reportedly told the Financial Times that richer countries should send up to 4% to 5% of their current vaccine supplies to poorer nations.

On 17 February 2021, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres denounced the "wildly uneven and unfair" global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the BBC added.