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People's Daily Online

UK politicians call for sharing more COVID-19 vaccines with lower-income countries

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 09:34, June 02, 2021

LONDON, June 1 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 cross-party MPs (Members of Parliament) and peers have urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to give more COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income countries, Sky News reported on Tuesday.

In a letter to the British government, a cross-party group of MPs and peers asked the government to donate a dose of COVID-19 vaccine to the United Nations-backed COVAX scheme for every dose bought for use in Britain, according to Sky News.

The call has been backed by senior Tory MPs Peter Bottomley and Dr Dan Poulter, a former health minister who has worked on the frontline during the pandemic.

"The longer we wait to act, the more likely it is that dangerous variants could emerge that can evade the protections offered by current vaccines," the letter said.

"While the UK has rightly committed funding to COVAX, we remain a net importer of COVID-19 vaccines", thus the group recommended that "the UK must immediately adopt a policy of vaccine matching, in which for each dose of the vaccine imported, one dose is donated to COVAX".

The group said it believes Britain should aim to become a "net vaccine exporter" once it has boosted its manufacturing capacity.

The group's call came as the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization also called for richer countries to give more COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income nations in a joint plea across a number of international newspapers.

More than 39.3 million people, about three-quarters of adults in Britain, have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the latest official figures.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.

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