Boris Johnson rules out sending more coronavirus jabs to the developing world until the UK has finished its booster programme for the elderly and vulnerable
- UK under pressure from campaigners to donate vaccines to developing world
- But Boris Johnson said UK will only donate more jabs after booster programme
- Mr Johnson said his ‘priority’ is to give maximum protection to people in UK first
Britain will not donate more vaccine doses to the developing world until the UK’s booster programme is completed, Boris Johnson said last night.
The UK is under pressure from the World Health Organisation to accelerate donations to developing countries.
Some British scientists have also backed the call, arguing there is a moral imperative to vaccinate the world’s vulnerable before giving booster shots in the UK.
But the PM dismissed the call last night, saying his ‘priority’ was to give maximum protection to people in the UK first.
Britain will not donate more vaccine doses to the developing world until the UK’s booster programme is completed, Boris Johnson said last night
The UK is under pressure from the World Health Organisation to accelerate donations to developing countries. A vaccination centre in London is pictured in August
Britain has already agreed to donate 100 million doses, although most will not be sent until next year.
But Mr Johnson suggested no more will be forthcoming, at least until the programme to offer booster shots to more than 30 million Brits is completed at the end of this year.
Speaking to reporters on a trip to New York, he said: ‘If you ask me, should we interrupt the booster programme for elderly and vulnerable people in this country, well I’ve looked at the evidence for what boosters can do, I’ve looked at the extra protection it can give people, and I have to say I think that that has to be our priority and we’re going to continue to do that.
‘But that doesn’t mean we’re not making also a massive commitment to the rest of the world, because we fundamentally agree that nobody’s safe until everybody is safe.’
The PM pointed out that the UK’s deal with AstraZeneca has led to the distribution of about a billion doses.
Gordon Brown said this month that the failure of the west to supply more Covid doses to the developing world was a ‘moral outrage’
But his comments will disappoint campaigners urging the UK to do more.
Gordon Brown warned this month that the failure of the west to supply more Covid doses to the developing world was a ‘moral outrage’ which would kill thousands.
The former PM said up to a billion doses stockpiled by Western countries risked going out of date by the end of this year.
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