Boris Johnson urges G7 to vaccinate world by end of 2022

UK prime minister wants 'concrete commitments' at Cornwall summit

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Boris Johnson will use next week's G7 summit to urge the world's largest economies to pledge to vaccinate the global population from Covid-19 by the end of 2022.

The UK prime minister said it would be "the single greatest feat in medical history” if the goal was achieved next year.

At the summit in Cornwall, the first meeting of G7 leaders since the start of the pandemic, Mr Johnson will ask for “concrete commitments” to inoculate the world by the end of 2022, a UK government statement said.

“Next week the leaders of the world’s greatest democracies will gather at an historic moment for our countries and for the planet,” Mr Johnson said.

“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.

“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 added.

The global recovery from the pandemic is expected to be the primary topic of discussions at the three-day summit next week.

Britain has previously vowed to donate surplus vaccines to Covax, the scheme aimed at ensuring poorer countries do not get left behind in the inoculation push.

But earlier this week the UK government was urged to do more.

A letter to Mr Johnson from charity chiefs said “the UK must now show the historic leadership needed to end this crisis, by sharing at least 20 per cent of available doses between now and August”.

“As president of the G7, the UK has the opportunity to set the standard for global action on sharing doses. Three months ago, you proudly pledged that the UK would share vaccines with the world. Now we ask that you turn this pledge into reality,” said the letter from Jeremy Farrar, director of health research charity Wellcome Trust, and Steven Waugh, head of Unicef’s UK office.

“The staggering progress with our national roll-out, combined with everyone playing their part in respecting tough but necessary restrictions, means we are on the cusp of all restrictions lifting.

“Freedom will however be short lived if the UK fails to share access to the huge supply of vaccines it has secured – enough to fully vaccinate the entire UK population twice over.”