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Britain’s jab drive WON’T be derailed as Boris Johnson pledges to give away 100m doses at G7, insists minister

BORIS Johnson’s G7 pledge to donate 100 million jabs to poorer nations will NOT scupper Britain’s own rollout, ministers insisted today.

Stressing the Government’s priority is “to protect the British people”, Vaccines tsar Nadhim Zahawi assured the giveaway won’t knock the target of giving all adults a first dose by the end of July.

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Boris Johnson, seen here with Joe Biden ahead of Friday’s G7 summit, is pledging to donate 100 million surplus vaccines from the UK’s supply[/caption]

The PM hosted President Biden and First Lady Jill in Cornwall on Thursday afternoon
Getty – Pool

Last night Mr Johnson vowed to “take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good” as he prepares to host the G7 summit in Cornwall.

The world leaders are expected to commit to providing a billion vaccine doses in a bid to end the Covid pandemic in 2022.

The announcement the UK will contribute a tenth of this amount fuelled fears our own successful drive will be slowed.

But Mr Zahawi this morning allayed concerns that we could be made worse off by our own generosity.

He told Times Radio: “The government’s priority is to protect the British people and our target is to offer at least one dose to all adults by the end of July. So that will not be impacted.

“Five-million doses will be donated to low income countries in the coming weeks.

“That will be delivered between the next couple of weeks and September and then an additional 25-million doses by the end of this year.

“These 5 million doses in the next few weeks will make a massive difference to those countries that are clearly in a very bad place at the moment with the virus.

“We ensured that whatever we do does not impact our own vaccination deployment programme. And that’s a reassurance that I can give your listeners this morning.”

It comes after US President Joe Biden announced the US would buy 500 million Pfizer doses for other countries.

The UK is set to begin sharing the jabs in the next few weeks, but the move is not expected to delay domestic rollout of the vaccines.

Eighty per cent of the 100million doses will be distributed through the Covax global vaccine-supply scheme for poorer countries, of which Britain is already one of the largest donors.


Under the Prime Minister’s plan, the UK will provide five million doses by the end of September, with 25 million more by the end of 2021.

Mr Johnson said: “As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine programme we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them.

“In doing so we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good.

“At the G7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus.”

We are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them

Boris Johnson

This week’s G7 summit at the Carbis Bay coastal estate will bring together the leaders of the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy.

They are also set to map out a plan to ramp up vaccine manufacturing in order to hit the billion doses target for donated jabs.

The PM’s jab pledge comes after he revealed his vision to “vaccinate the world”.

Ahead of the start of the G7 summit, Mr Biden and Mr Johnson met yesterday as leaders for the first time – with the US President joking “we both married above our station”.

Astrazeneca, through its deal with the University of Oxford, is providing its vaccine at cost price to developing countries.


The Prime Minister is set to ask the G7 leaders to urge pharma giants to adopt the Oxford-AstraZeneca model of providing vaccines at cost price.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, also known as Janssen, have already pledged to share 1.3 billion doses on a non-profit basis with developing countries.

Mr Johnson added: “Since the start of this pandemic the UK has led the way in efforts to protect humanity against this deadly disease.

“Over a year ago we funded the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine on the basis it would be distributed at cost to the world.

“This unprecedented model, which puts people squarely above profit, means over half a billion doses have been administered in 160 countries so far.”

The UK has gone back on a commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid, cutting the amount to 0.5 per cent.

But the donation of vaccines will count as extra aid spending on top of the £10 billion already promised under the reduced target.

The UK has set a target of offering all adults a vaccine before the end of July.

So far, 40,886,878 Brits – 61.2 per cent of the total population – has had one jab, with 28,857,102 – or 43.2 per cent of the total population – fully protected with two doses.

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