Petition Ensure global and equitable access to vaccines, tests, treatments, and PPE.
The UK Government must aim to make 2022 the year we end this pandemic and #VaccinateTheWorld, through expanding its efforts to ensure global and equitable access to vaccines, tests, treatments, and PPE.
This must be done in partnership with individual countries or through the WHO-hosted Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator partnership of leading global health agencies.
The omicron variant has shown that the British people will never be safe until everyone is safe.
Letting the pandemic go on could cost the global economy $5.3 trillion. Failing to meet the WHO 70% vaccination target could result in 5 million deaths worldwide.
In years to come, we will have to justify this catastrophic moral and global health security failure to our children and grandchildren.
Or we can rewrite history.
We can make 2022 the year our nation helped #VaccinateTheWorld.
This response was given on 8 April 2022
The UK’s G7 Presidency committed to ending the pandemic in 2022. The UK has committed up to £1.4 billion to support this, including funding for access to vaccines, tests, treatments, and PPE.
The UK’s G7 Presidency last year set the collective goal of ending the pandemic in 2022. The Government is actively working with the G7 and multilateral partners to deliver on this and has made significant contributions to support these efforts.
The Government’s commitment of up to £1.4 billion to help end the COVID pandemic and address its impact includes up to £813 million of new UK Aid to Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator partners, and up to £105 million of support to help vulnerable countries respond to the Omicron variant, as announced by the Foreign Secretary in December 2021.
UK support for global vaccine access is driven through our support for the COVAX Facility. We are among the largest donors to COVAX’s Advance Market Commitment (AMC), committing £548 million, which supports vaccine access for up to 92 developing countries. Over 1.3 billion vaccines have now been delivered globally through COVAX to 144 participants, including over 1 billion to 86 AMC-eligible countries.
As of 7 April, the UK has donated 36 million vaccines to more than 30 countries. A further 32 million doses have been committed to COVAX, to be delivered in the near future. G7 leaders committed to share and finance one billion doses at the G7 Carbis Bay Summit in June 2021.
The UK is also supporting continued innovation to develop the next generation of vaccines. The UK hosted the Global Pandemic Preparedness Summit in early March, which raised over US$1.5 billion to support the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) efforts to develop vaccines against new health threats in 100 days and rapidly scale-up manufacturing to strengthen global supply. This includes a UK pledge of £160 million. This significant down-payment towards CEPI’s five-year plan will fund work to save millions of lives, prevent trillions of pounds in economic damage and ensure the world comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic stronger for the future.
The UK is working with the African Union, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, CEPI, international development banks and the private sector to catalyse strategic investments for vaccine manufacturing in low- and middle- income countries. This includes work to forecast future vaccine markets and procurement options. The UK actively supports the Partnership for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) initiative to implement a roadmap for African vaccine manufacturing. We have also provided technical support to develop business cases for vaccine production in South Africa, Senegal and Morocco.
Testing allows us to detect cases and undertake broader surveillance including the identification of new and potentially dangerous variants. UK Aid is supporting the identification and global availability of easily manufactured testing devices. We have provided £23 million to the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) to develop rapid diagnostic tests that allow self-testing at home and decentralised testing in the community by health workers.
Therapeutics also play a key role in combatting COVID-19, especially for those that are highly vulnerable or remain unvaccinated. The UK has pledged up to £40 million to the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator (CTA) that will support international research and development on therapeutics, with a particular focus on ensuring suitability for use in low- and middle-income countries. FCDO has also provided £2 million to the WHO R&D Blueprint that supports global R&D and includes the SOLIDARITY trial that is assessing therapeutic options for COVID-19.
The UK is also providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to low- and middle-income countries. This includes donating 187,000 items of PPE to Lebanon and 20,000 to Nepal. We continue to identify opportunities to donate PPE to countries in need, and a number of donations are currently in process. The UK is also contributing £20 million to the Africa Union’s COVID-19 Response Fund to support the provision of PPE as well as test kits and ventilators.
The UK recognises longer-term approaches to financing are needed to help the world live with COVID-19 and protect against future variants. These must be more country-centric to ensure financing reflects national strategies and targets and fully use funds from all sources, especially from International Financial Institutions. The UK is committed to working with international partners to develop such approaches.
Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
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Other parliamentary business
MPs report on vaccine inequality, cuts to health aid and global health security
Last September, the Foreign Affairs Committee published a report that looked at global inequality in access to vaccines and cuts to some important international health aid programmes.
The Committee found that the covid-19 pandemic had demonstrated that, in an interconnected world, health security cannot be separated from foreign policy, and concluded that the new Foreign Secretary should make addressing the shortcomings it had identified a priority.
Read the full report: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/7458/documents/78108/default/
Among its recommendations, the Committee said that the Government should:
- Increase the speed and amount of vaccines donated through COVAX
- Take action to create greater vaccine manufacturing capacity in lower-income countries
- Lead on efforts to counter health misinformation internationally
- Work with other countries to increase the powers of the World Health Organisation
- Commit to reinstituting previous levels of funding to global health aid programmes that had seen budget cuts
Read more about the report, including a comment from Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Committee: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/78/foreign-affairs-committee/news/157835/the-only-response-is-a-united-response-foreign-affairs-publishes-global-health-global-britain-report/
What is the Foreign Affairs Committee?
The Foreign Affairs Committee scrutinises the work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and its associated public bodies. It examines government policy, spending and administration on behalf of the electorate and the House of Commons. It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.
Find out more on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/78/foreign-affairs-committee/
You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
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