Latest updates: PM defends UK offer of surplus Covid jabs to poorer nations; post-Covid reconstruction on the agenda as G7 leaders meet in Cornwall

9.40am BST

This morning Boris Johnson tweeted a link to an article he has written setting out his ambitions for the G7 summit. In it, he says he wants the G7 countries to commit to providing one billion doses of vaccine to developing countries by the end of next year. He says:

Britain has contributed £548m to Covax and we will also donate the vast majority of any surplus doses from our domestic vaccination programme.

But in the heat of emergency, we must all strive even harder. So I want the G7 to adopt an exacting yet profoundly necessary target: to provide one billion doses to developing countries in order to vaccinate everyone in the world by the end of next year.

So we need to strengthen our collective ability to prevent another pandemic and provide early warning of future threats, including by creating a network of surveillance centres – a global pandemic radar.

Our scientists took just 300 days to crack Covid and produce the vaccines, but we need to be able to respond even more rapidly. This G7 summit will begin a new effort to accelerate the development of vaccines, treatments and tests for any new virus from 300 to 100 days.

At this @G7 Summit Britain will work alongside our kindred democracies to #BuildBackBetter

My article: https://t.co/UysFJPAeJB #G7UK pic.twitter.com/hklqbUxo5X

9.18am BST

Good morning. The G7 summit in Cornwall formally opens this afternoon, and as it gets underway Boris Johnson has announced that the UK is going to donate at least 100m surplus doses of vaccine to poorer countries within the next 12 months. The news follows President Biden’s announcement yesterday that the US is buying 500m doses of the Pfizer vaccine to distribute to nearly 100 countries around the world. Here are details of the UK offer from the government news release.

The UK will donate 5m doses by the end of September, beginning in the coming weeks, primarily for use in the world’s poorest countries. The prime minister has also committed to donating a further 95m doses within the next year, including 25m more by the end of 2021. 80% of the 100m doses will go to Covax and the remainder will be shared bilaterally with countries in need.

By sharing 5m doses in the coming weeks the UK will meet an immediate demand for vaccines for the countries worst affected by coronavirus without delaying completion of our initial domestic vaccination programme

This is an important step forward, but it does not reflect the moral urgency of the situation we face.

There is an urgent need to get jabs in arms now, to save millions of lives around the world and prevent the emergence of even deadlier and more transmissible variants.

I think that the people of this country should be very proud that of the 1.5bn doses that are being distributed around the world to the poorest and neediest in the world under the Covax programme, one in three come from the Oxford/AstraZeneca deal that the UK did, allowing those vaccines to be distributed at cost.

And that’s before we’ve talked about the £548 million that we’ve contributed to Covax, £1.6 billion to Gavi. And, yes, we’re putting in 5m doses by September, but we’ll do another, we’ll do 100m before 12 months is out. That’s a huge number of extra doses.

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https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/joebiden

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