Thank you for contacting me about Covid-19 vaccines and developing countries.
I know that Government Ministers do take this issue very seriously and have made a firm commitment to assist the world’s poorest nations in receiving the essential COVID vaccines they need.
The UK has committed £548 million to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) – the international initiative to support global equitable access to vaccines, which is helping to support the rollout of 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccines doses by early 2022 for up to 92 developing countries. This will be sufficient to vaccinate up to 30% of recipient country populations, prioritising healthcare workers and then expanding to cover other priority groups. COVAX deliveries have already provided over 406 million doses to 144 participant countries as of October this year.
The UK’s G7 Presidency has also championed equitable access to vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics and the UK will share 100 million doses by June 2022 (30 million by the end of 2021) as part of a G7 commitment to provide an additional one billion doses. The UK's own network of health advisers in relevant AMC countries are also working to support host governments to receive and deliver vaccines.
Moreover, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has accounted for over half of all COVAX deliveries, distributing 1.5 billion doses so far in more than 170 countries on a non-profit basis. The UK has also offered our expertise in genome sequencing to support other countries in tracking new variants, building on the work of British researchers in sequencing 50 per cent of the global database of coronavirus genomes. The findings of the UK’s Recovery Trial – the world’s largest clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments – prevented over a million deaths worldwide.
At the G20 summit in Rome last month, the Prime Minister announced that the Government had sent a further 10 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to COVAX, with 10 million more to be delivered in the weeks thereafter. Having already donated over 10 million, this means that the UK is on track to share over 30 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines by the end of 2021. The UK plans to share another 20 million in 2022, meaning that we will have donated over half of our supply of this vaccine to developing countries. The UK is donating all 20 million Janssen vaccine doses previously ordered by the Government for domestic use to COVAX.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me and for sharing your concerns. I hope the response above goes some way to demonstrate the immense work that the UK has been doing to support developing countries with their responses to the pandemic. Please be assured I am continuing to monitor this issue very carefully and will raise concerns with Government Ministers whenever appropriate.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking