UK begins donating millions of vaccines overseas

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Five million doses are being offered to COVAX, the scheme to ensure equitable, global access to COVID-19 vaccines…reports Asian Lite News.

The UK will this week begin delivering 9 million COVID-19 vaccines around the world, including to Indonesia, Jamaica and Kenya, to help tackle the pandemic, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has announced.

“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,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

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 4 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.

UK has also signed agreements with Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Cambodia, Guyana, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Thailand and Vietnam to receive up to 4 million doses.

It is donating Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, made by Oxford Biomedica in Oxford.

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.

The move is expected to 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.

“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,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

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