Vaccine POLL: Should the UK start giving vaccines to other countries now?

Angela Merkel discusses the delivery of vaccine doses to Ukraine

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Express.co.uk wants to know whether you think Boris Johnson should begin exporting vaccines to countries who are suffering before the month is up, vote in our poll and tell us what you think in the comments. In the UK 69.1 percent of the population have received their first dose. Whilst the USA has administered the vaccine to a smaller proportion of their population at 56.2 percent, they continue to give away approximately 13 percent of their vaccines – more than any other country in the world.

President Joe Biden said: “We need to help fight the disease around the world to keep us safe here at home and to do the right thing of helping other people.”

In May, Unicef reported that the UK could have donated 100 million of its vaccine doses without interrupting its domestic roll-out. Meaning Britain had enough jabs to fully vaccinate every adult in the UK – with a third booster jab on top for high-risk groups – and would still have had 100 million spare.

Though the UK has been accused of ‘vaccine hoarding’, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has dug in his heels against immediate vaccine donation until the UK population are protected.

Ahead of the G7 summit on June 11, top scientist Sir Jeremy Farrar and the executive director of Unicef UK Steven Waugh published an open letter to Mr Johnson appealing for the Prime Minister to “show historic leadership” by donating 20 percent of the UK’s Covid vaccines to other nations.

The letter read: “Three months ago, you proudly pledged that the UK would share vaccines with the world. Now we ask that you turn this pledge into reality.

“The UK vaccination rollout has been a phenomenal success and has already saved countless lives.

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“Yet, globally too many countries still lack doses to protect healthcare workers and the most vulnerable.

“The world won’t be safe while any single country is still fighting the virus. Failing to act now risks reversing our hard-won progress.

“As long as the virus continues to circulate, it will continue to mutate.”

In response, Mr Johnson announced that the UK will donate 100 million surplus vaccine doses to the world within the next year, but this roll-out is yet to begin.

Just seven days before, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of Nepal urged Mr Johnson to donate vaccines to the Nepalese people – a request that has not yet been fulfilled.

Reports by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that one in every four people in rich countries have had at least one vaccine, whilst only one in every 500 have been vaccinated in poor countries.

So, we are asking our readers, should vaccine donation to countries in need begin in the next two weeks? Or, should we hold-off from sending vaccines abroad until we have offered the jab to our entire population?

Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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In May a government spokesperson said: “We committed in February to sending excess doses from the UK’s supply to the Covax procurement pool and to countries in need once they are available.

“Right now, we are moving through the UK prioritisation list for our domestic roll-out and we don’t have surplus doses but … we will keep this under review.”

One month ago, vaccines in the UK opened up to everyone 20-years-old and above, and everyone 16 years and older is due to be offered a vaccine by September.

Is it right to keep 100 percent of the UK’s vaccine stock when the most vulnerable age groups have been offered the jab? Tell us what you think.

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