Failure of rich world to share Covid vaccines is ‘criminal’, says Gordon Brown

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Former prime minister Gordon Brown has said the “criminal” failure of wealthy countries such as Britain to send untested coronavirus vaccines to developing countries is “the biggest public policy failure internationally”.

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Mr Brown reprimanded Boris Johnson for missing a key UN meeting to secure a pledge by US President Joe Biden to secure vaccine doses for poor countries.

The former PM said new figures show that there are 240 million vaccines lying unused in Europe and the US, of which 100m will eventually be discarded after their use-by date.


And he said over-ordering by wealthy countries meant stocks of unused doses were growing rapidly and were likely to reach 1 billion by January, while booster campaigns offered a third time to those whose protections is decreasing.

At the G7 summit in Cornwall in June, Boris Johnson called for a vaccine to be offered to the whole world by the end of 2022, as the UK decided to order many times more doses than needed to protect its population. As well as opposing its intellectual property exemptions that could allow developing countries to start building their own jabs.

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At the event, the summit fell short of Mr Johnson’s ambitions, promising just 1 billion doses by next year – a fraction of the 11 billion that the World Health Organization believes 70 percent of the world’s adults need to be vaccinated. the wanted.

Mr Brown told Sky News’ Sunday with Trevor Phillips: “There are 240 million vaccines lying unused in Europe and the US and unlikely to be used for months – many of them could be useless and that would be criminal.

“(They) can be immediately taken to countries where vaccination levels are so low that even nurses and doctors are not protected, and certainly not the elderly and vulnerable.

“Boris Johnson promised at the G7 that he was going to vaccinate the whole world. He made the bold announcement that by next year everyone in developing countries as well as adults in the developed world would be vaccinated. But then Much less than that.”

Mr Brown said the WHO’s goal of protecting at least 10 percent of the population of every country in the world by September had already been missed, and was later set to reach 40 percent by December and 70 percent by next year. . unlikely to be found.


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