Great Britain

Boris hails G7 pledge of 1 billion jabs for poorer countries and quips ‘England can catch up on press conference later’

BORIS Johnson today hailed the G7's pledge to dish out a total of one billion jabs to poorer countries around the world.

The Prime Minister marked the end of the G7 Summit in Cornwall with a press conference this afternoon - just minutes after England kicked off its first Euros match.

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The PM began by saying how sorry he was that the England team would not be able to watch him speak live, although he hopes "following their resounding victory" they will be able to "catch up on the triumphs of the G7 later".

He went on to praise the leaders of the world's richest countries' commitments to the Covid vaccine effort, telling journalists that we need to "vaccinate the whole world by the end of 2022".

"I am very pleased to announced that this weekend leaders have pledged over 1 billion doses either directly or through funding to Covax," he said.

"That includes 100million from the UK to the world’s poorest countries which is another big step towards vaccinating the world."

The commitment falls far short of the 11 billion doses the World Health Organization said is needed to vaccinate at least 70% of the worlds population and truly end the pandemic.

But the Prime Minister rejected suggestions this afternoon that the supply was a "moral failure" and not enough to cover the needs of poorer countries.

He told the news conference: "This is another billion made up of a massive contribution by the United States and other friends."

He said the UK's contribution is another 100 million from now to next June of the vaccines.

And he added: "Already of the 1.5 billion vaccines that have been distributed around the world, I think that people in this country should be very proud that half a billion of them are as a result of the actions taken by the UK Government in doing that deal with the Oxford scientists and AstraZeneca to distribute it at cost."

Mr Johnson stressed that "we are going flat out and we are producing vaccines as fast as we can, and distributing them as fast as we can".

And he said the target to vaccinate the world by the end of next year will be done "very largely thanks to the efforts of the countries who have come here today".

Leaders from the UK, US, France, Germany, Canada, Italy and Japan converged on Carbis Bay for the G7 Summit this weekend.

Ahead of their meeting, Mr Johnson called on them to draw up plans "vaccinate the world by the end of the year".

It comes as poorer countries have warned they remain vulnerable to vicious outbreaks because of a low stockpile of doses.

A total of 70,741,984 jabs have been dished out in the UK alone so far.

This includes both first and second doses.

Pledge to donate 100m vaccine doses won't affect UK rollout says Nadhim Zahawi

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