Boris Johnson will use G7 summit in Cornwall to call on world leaders to pledge to vaccinate the world against Covid-19 within 18 months
- Boris Johnson will call on world leaders to agree on a plan to end the pandemic
- This is by making sure everyone has access to a shot within the next 18 months
- Prime Minister praised summit, to be held in Cornwall, as ‘historic’
- The G7 kicks off on Friday, when leaders gather for a face-to-face meeting
Boris Johnson will use the G7 summit to make a global pledge to vaccinate the world’s population against Covid-19 by the end of 2022.
The prime minister will call on world leaders to agree on a plan to end the pandemic by ensuring everyone has access to a jab within the next 18 months.
He praised the summit, to be held in Cornwall, as ‘historic’. The G7 kicks off on Friday, when leaders gather for a face-to-face meeting.
Johnson said prime ministers — including US President Joe Biden on his first foreign visit since taking office — should use the event to address “the biggest challenge” since the war.
The prime minister (pictured getting his second shot last week) will call on world leaders to agree on a plan to end the pandemic by ensuring everyone has access to a shot within the next 18 months.
Speaking before the summit, Mr Johnson said: “The world expects us to take on 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 greatest achievement in medical history.
“I call on my fellow G7 leaders to join us in ending this terrible pandemic and pledge that we will never let the devastation wrought by the coronavirus happen again.”
G7 leaders arrive in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, for three days of meeting.
They will be joined virtually by experts including UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, environmentalist Sir David Attenborough and philanthropist Melinda Gates.
On Saturday, G7 leaders will be joined in person or virtually by their counterparts from Australia, South Africa, South Korea and India to discuss health and climate change.
The Prime Minister is expected to call for an intensification of vaccine production, lowering barriers to the international distribution of jabs and sharing excess doses with developing countries, both bilaterally and through Covax, a program of the World Health Organization.
Mr Johnson will also ask for their support for the Global Pandemic Radar – a new surveillance system that will protect immunization programs against new Covid variants through early detection.
The summit comes after the government came under pressure to donate more doses to low-income countries.
MPs wrote to the Prime Minister last week urging him to pledge to donate one dose abroad for every dose administered in the UK.
Germany, France and Italy have pledged to donate at least 100 million doses of vaccine through Covax by the end of the year.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said last week the UK would try to donate reserve doses, in line with a government pledge in February, but added: ‘At the moment we have no excess doses. We just get them into battle as soon as possible.”
Ministers are in a race to vaccinate more Britons in light of new variants, to save the next phase of reopening the lockdown on June 21.
The summit will also discuss climate change and expanding girls’ education around the world.