Global Vaccine Summit: UK PM urges for funding, cooperation

Boris Johnson at the virtual global vaccine summit
Boris Johnson at the virtual global vaccine summit

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged countries and organisations to cooperate and pledge funding of vaccines during the virtual Global Vaccine Summit.

Johnson stressed that the need for the funds is to save millions of lives in the poorest countries and protect the world from future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The summit hosted by Britain aims to mobilize at least 7.4 billion U.S. dollars for Gavi, the” Vaccine Alliance”. It seek to protect the next generation with vaccines, reduce disease inequality and create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world.

Addressing attendees from over 50 countries and organisations, Johnson said in his opening speech that the summit is a moment “when the world comes together to unite humanity in the fight against disease”.

“I urge you to join us to fortify this lifesaving alliance and inaugurate a new era of global health co-operation, which I believe is now the most essential shared endeavour of our lifetimes,” he added.

According to Johnson, Britain is contributing 1.65 billion pounds (about 2.07 billion dollars) to Gavi over the next five years.

Also by 2025, the summit is expected to raise money to immunize 300 million children in the world’s poorest countries. Thus, protecting them from deadly diseases like polio, diphtheria and measles, and also helping ensure the global recovery from COVID-19 pandemic.

If a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine is developed, Gavi will have a role in its delivery around the world.