Ahead of the G7 Summit, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK will commit 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries. Responding to the news, Lis Wallace, Head of UK Advocacy, said: “There’s a lot to like here but it’s not happening anywhere near fast enough.
“It’s great news that Boris Johnson has decided to come to the G7 with a plan to share vaccine doses but if he really wants to be the “host with most” at his own party then he needs to go further. This means starting to share doses right now to counter the current global vaccine crisis.
“Really the G7’s aim to provide 1 billion doses should be seen as an absolute minimum, and the timeframe needs to speed up. This must be backed by additional funding and a fully costed plan to end the pandemic for good.
“We’re in a race with this virus and the longer it’s in the lead the greater the risk of new, more dangerous variants undermining global progress. Otherwise we risk being in one long game of variant whack-a-mole.”
On the point that the doses will be counted as Official Development Assistance (ODA), Wallace continued:
“We welcome that these doses will be counted as additional to the 0.5% aid budget. It’s an important first step in getting back to the 0.7% commitment, something that we should be doing if we don’t want to be outshone on the global stage.”