The UK will begin to deliver 9 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines around the world this week, announces Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab
The UK has pledged to donate 100 million AstraZeneca vaccines overseas by June 2022, 80 million of which will go to COVAX.
This week the UK will begin distributing 4 million doses directly to countries in need and a further 5 million to COVAX.
Indonesia is set to receive 600,000 doses, Jamaica will be sent 300,000 and 817,000 are to be delivered to Kenya, among other countries.
“World’s poorest countries”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
“The UK is sending 9 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, the first batch of the 100 million doses we’ve pledged, to get the most vulnerable parts of the world vaccinated as a matter of urgency.
“We’re doing this to help the most vulnerable, but also because we know we won’t be safe until everyone is safe.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“This is a global pandemic and COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect people and prevent the emergence of new variants. We want to make sure developing countries can build a wall of defence against the virus as we have in the UK through our vaccine rollout.
“The UK is one of the largest donors to COVAX and this donation is part of our pledge to send 100 million vaccines to some of the world’s poorest countries.
“The Government has secured enough doses for all UK residents, crown dependencies and overseas territories to support our ongoing vaccination programme and booster programme.”
“Nobody is safe until everyone is safe”
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:
“The UK has been a steadfast supporter of COVAX since its inception and this announcement comes at an important time.
“Global vaccine demand is far outstripping supply, leaving millions of the most vulnerable unprotected, while higher vaccine coverage worldwide is one of our best shields against new variants.
“In this pandemic, nobody is safe until everyone is safe.”
Sir Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, said:
“Each day we’re making progress in our mission to change the course of this pandemic by providing broad and equitable access to AstraZeneca’s vaccine. We are proud that over 80% of countries across the world have received doses of our vaccine, with two-thirds supplied to lower middle income and low-income countries.
“The close collaboration between UK Government and our academic and industry partners is critical to ensure we deliver vaccines at speed and protect as many people as possible against this deadly virus.”