The Prime Minister will call on the other G7 leaders in Cornwall to commit to vaccinating the world’s population against the coronavirus by the end of 2022.
With the face-to-face meeting of heads of state and government on Friday, Boris Johnson plans to use the UK G7 presidency to summon his counterparts to “face the greatest challenge of the post-war era” and put an end to it Pandemic by making sure everyone in the world has access to a vaccination within the next 18 months.
“Next week, the leaders of the world’s greatest democracies will gather in a historic moment for our countries and for the planet,” said Mr Johnson, who received his second dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine on Thursday.
“The world expects us to face the greatest challenge of the post-war era: defeat Covid and lead a global recovery based on our shared values.
“Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the greatest achievement in medical history.
“I urge my G7 leaders to join us in ending this terrible pandemic, and I promise that we will never again allow the havoc wrought by the coronavirus.”
The call comes after the UK government asked questions about its own dosage donations to Covax, the United Nations-backed program aimed at making vaccines available to low and middle-income countries.
MPs and colleagues wrote to Mr Johnson last week asking him to follow the lead of Germany, France and Italy, who have pledged to donate at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines before the end of the year, while saying The UK had previously only vowed to donate any excess shots to Covax in the future.
The Health Secretary told reporters on Friday that the UK was “absolutely” trying to donate replacement doses – following a government pledge made in February – but that none are currently available.
“We don’t have overdoses right now, we’re just getting them in our arms asap,” Matt Hancock told reporters.
Downing Street argued that the UK “was cited to ensure that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people had access to vaccines,” citing the role of the Westminster government in funding the Oxford / AstraZeneca jab.
Because vaccination was provided at cost, according to No. 10, almost every third vaccine administered worldwide was the Oxford vaccine, with 96% of the 80 million vaccines administered by Covax being supplied by AstraZeneca.
Officials also highlighted the “substantial financial contribution” of £ 548 million to Covax in its early formation.
G7 leaders will arrive in Cornwall’s Carbis Bay for three-day meetings on Friday, with a focus on how the group, which includes the US and Germany, can lead the global recovery from coronavirus, officials said.
Number 10 said the Prime Minister would tell them the world’s largest economies must go ahead and commit to vaccinating the world by the end of next year to end the coronavirus pandemic for good.
He will work to step up the production of vaccines, remove barriers to the international distribution of these vaccines, and share overdoses bilaterally and through Covax with developing countries.
During these sessions, guides, including those from Canada, Japan, France and Italy, will be virtually accompanied by experts including UK Senior Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance, philanthropist Melinda French Gates and environmentalist David Attenborough.
On Saturday, the G7 countries will be invited either in person or virtually by the heads of state and government of Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India for talks on health and climate change.
The Prime Minister will not only urge leaders to step up efforts to vaccinate the world, but also to support the Global Pandemic Radar – a new global surveillance system that protects vaccination programs from new vaccine-resistant variants by detecting them before they get the chance to spread.