Share Covid jabs with poorer nations to end variants threat, world leaders urged


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ovid vaccines must be shared with poorer nations to prevent richer countries being hit by newly-imported deadly variants, world leaders have been told.

Global bodies – along with MPs and peers – warned of fresh lockdowns if people in developing nations do not get a huge increase in jabs.

The warnings came as calls grew from experts to postpone England’s unlocking on June 21 due to fears the Indian variant is fuelling a third wave of potentially “explosive” Covid-19 infections.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will confirm “whether and to what extent” plans to further ease coronavirus restrictions can take place on June 7, amid extra controls in Glasgow to deal with rising cases.

With vaccines seen as the main escape route from repeated lockdowns to control the pandemic, governments around the world are being urged to do more to ensure those in developing nations can access jabs.

The heads of the World Health Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group and World Trade Organisation warned of a “dangerous gap” in the availability of jabs, with low-income nations receiving “less than 1 per cent of vaccines administered so far”.

“Inequitable vaccine distribution is not only leaving untold millions of people vulnerable to the virus. It is also allowing deadly variants to emerge and ricochet back across the world,” they said in an open letter published in a number of global newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph.

In a separate letter, a cross-party group of more than 100 MPs and peers wrote to the  Prime Minister with a similar message, calling for Britain to export more jabs to developing countries in a bid to prevent new variants from wrecking Britain’s freedom plans.

Urging Boris Johnson to show “global leadership” in the run-up to the G7 in Cornwall next week, the parliamentarians – including former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey and Tory ex-health minister Dr Dan Poulter – urged him to commit to a one in, one out policy when it comes to vaccines.

For every dose bought for use in Britain, the signatories want the UK Government to donate a dose to the United Nations-backed Covax scheme, which is providing vaccines to low and middle-income countries.



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