Johnson is expected to emphasize the importance of a global vaccination campaign when he meets with other world leaders on Friday in Cornwall, off the south-west coast of England, for the first face-to-face G-7 summit since the pandemic.
“The world expects us to rise to the greatest challenge of the postwar era: defeating Covid and leading a global recovery driven by our shared values,” he said in a statement Sunday. “Vaccinating the world by the end of next year would be the greatest feat in medical history.”
US President Joe Biden and the leaders of Canada, France, Italy and Japan will arrive in Cornwall starting Friday for three days of talks focused on global recovery from the pandemic.
The British government pledged in February to hand over most of the country’s surplus vaccine supply to Covax, the United Nations-backed program that aims to supply poorer countries with hits.
But the UK has yet to calculate how many doses it will donate. The country, with a population of about 70 million, has ordered some 400 million doses of vaccines. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the UK does not have excessive doses at the moment and that “we are just picking them up as quickly as possible”.
The Sunday Times reported that Johnson is ready to announce at the summit that the UK will commit to donating more than £ 2bn in strokes this year, with more donations in 2022.
The United States has said it plans to share 80 million doses of its surplus vaccine globally by the end of June, most through Covax.