Raab says UK to lead global vaccine role with pressure campaign on UN ‘must share jabs’

Raab says UK to lead global vaccine role with pressure campaign on UN ‘must share jabs’

Dominic Raab discusses UK's role in global vaccine distribution

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Dominic Raab announced he will be meeting with the UN’s Security Council to call for ceasefires in conflict zones so the local population can receive their vaccines. But during a media round, he explained the Government has provided over half a billion pound to the COVAX programme, a scheme where governments around the world pool resources to distribute vaccines around the world. Mr Raab said he would also be urging the Security Council and others to follow in the UK’s footsteps and “team-up” against COVID-19 when he visits the UN later today. 

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Raab said  “We’re encouraging support, what’s called the COVAX AMC (Advanced Market Commitment) mechanism, but basically what it allows is the most vulnerable people to get distributed the vaccine.

“The UK is leading the way on this, we’ve given a half a billion pounds which will provide a billion doses. 

“What we now want to do is use our convenient power to get other countries, particularly the major countries on the Security Council to match it.”

Presenter Charlie Stayt then asked the Foreign Secretary whether the UK was in a strong enough position to start looking internationally. 

He said: “You talked about COVAX a moment ago, we are well prepared in relation to the supply of vaccines, are we as a country prepared to sacrifice some of our supply for those who need it more?”

Mr Raab said: “I don’t think it’s a question about that, but I think it’s a reasonable challenge. 

“And that’s why, as well as the leading the way with our domestic rollout which we, you know, make no apologies for that it’s what the people watching the show expect, at the same time, we’ve provided half a billion pounds to provide a billion doses to the most vulnerable countries around the world.

“The key thing is to demonstrate through COVAX AMC, this international mechanism, not only that we’re putting in doing our bit and playing our part.

Dominic Raab appears to have broom propped against door

“But also we’re using our convenient power, our leadership role in the Security Council to say to everyone else ‘come on, it’s, it’s a team effort we all need to do our bit’.”

The COVAX mechanism is a scheme led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to ensure everyone around the world receives vaccines regardless of economic wealth. 

A priority list of vulnerable people has been drawn up by the WHO to help countries determine who should be vaccinated first. 

However, some countries have criticised the scheme as being too slow with some countries forced to arrange vaccination supplies outside of the mechanism. 

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Serbia criticised the EU and COVAX for not providing them with vaccines despite contributing to and signing up for vaccine distribution.

Instead, the country signed deals with North America, China and Russia directly to secure their doses. 

As a result, the country’s population vaccination rate is one of the best in Europe. 

Dominic Raab will be meeting with the UN later today.

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