Foreign Secretary announces the UK will begin to deliver nine million Covid-19 vaccines around the world to help tackle the pandemic.
- Nine million vaccines to be donated bilaterally and offered to COVAX to help tackle Covid-19 abroad.
- The vaccines are expected to start leaving the UK this week, with Indonesia, Jamaica and Kenya among countries set to receive doses.
- The UK has pledged to donate 100 million vaccines overseas by June 2022, 80 million of which will go to COVAX.
The UK will this week begin delivering nine million Covid-19 vaccines around the world, including to Indonesia, Jamaica and Kenya, to help tackle the pandemic, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced today (Wednesday 28 July).
Five million doses are being offered to COVAX, the scheme to ensure equitable, global access to Covid-19 vaccines. COVAX will urgently distribute them to lower-income countries via an equitable allocation system which prioritises delivering vaccines to people who most need them. Another four million doses will be shared directly with countries in need.
Indonesia will receive 600,000 doses, 300,000 will be sent to Jamaica and 817,000 are to be transported to Kenya, among other countries.
The UK is donating the University of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, made by Oxford Biomedica in Oxford and packaged in Wrexham, North Wales.
This is the first tranche of the 100 million vaccines the Prime Minister pledged the UK would share within the next year at last month’s G7 in Cornwall, with 30 million due to be sent by the end of the year. At least 80 million of the 100 million doses will go to COVAX, with the rest going to countries directly. The donations will help meet the pledge that G7 leaders made to vaccinate the world and end the pandemic in 2022.
This week’s deployment will help meet the urgent need for vaccines from countries around the world, including in Africa, South East Asia and the Caribbean. These regions are experiencing high levels of Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations and deaths.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19, including through investing £90 million to support the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. Over half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle-income countries.
The UK also kick-started efforts to establish COVAX in 2020, providing a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower income countries. The scheme has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including in 83 lower-middle income countries. 65% of the initial vaccine doses have been Oxford-AstraZeneca. COVAX aims to deliver 1.8 billion vaccines to lower-income countries around the world by early 2022.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said:
Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which is co-leading COVAX alongside the World Health Organization and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, said:
Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, said: