COVID-19: UK PM Boris Johnson to set end-2022 target to vaccinate world at G7 Summit

COVID-19: UK PM Boris Johnson to set end-2022 target to vaccinate world at G7 Summit

London: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will call on fellow G7 leaders to make concrete commitments to vaccinate the entire world against coronavirus by the end of 2022 at the Leaders' Summit in Cornwall, Downing Street has said.

The meeting, starting on Friday, is the first between G7 leaders since the coronavirus pandemic and the UK as president of the summit has made vaccine supply and support for equitable access, tackling climate change and getting more children into school as central themes of the meeting of the world's leading economies.

India has been invited as a guest country, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi expected to participate virtually.

Next week the leaders of the world's greatest democracies will gather at an historic moment for our countries and for the planet. The world is looking to us to rise to the greatest challenge of the post-war era: defeating Covid and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values, Johnson said in a statement on Saturday.

Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the single greatest feat in medical history. I'm calling on my fellow G7 leaders to join us to end to this terrible pandemic and pledge will we never allow the devastation wreaked by coronavirus to happen again, he said.

The UK government is keen to highlight its efforts to ensure the world's poorest and most vulnerable people have access to vaccines. At the outset of the pandemic, Downing Street said the UK funded the development and production of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and guaranteed it would be made available at cost around the globe.

As a result, almost one in three vaccines administered around the world have been the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine 450 million out of 1.5 billion doses with the Serum Institute of India among those licenced to manufacture the doses as Covishield in India.

The UK also worked to establish the COVAX scheme to distribute the vaccine to developing countries, providing a significant financial contribution of 548 million pounds early on and encouraging other countries to commit to the scheme. COVAX would not have been able to deliver the 80 million doses it already without Oxford-AstraZeneca, which made up 96 per cent million of those doses, Downing Street said.

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