Look after our own! Readers say UK not ready to donate Covid vaccines abroad

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Boris Johnson announced in June the UK will donate 100 million surplus vaccines to the world within the next year, but this roll-out is yet to begin. With almost 70 percent of Britons having received their first Covid jab, we asked Express.co.uk readers whether it’s time to start donating some of the UK’s vaccine stock to overseas nations in need. Of the 2,010 readers who answered the poll held between 12.15pm July 16 and 11.15am July 19, 69 percent said the UK should not start shipping vaccines to other countries in need. A fair share of the vote, 28 percent of people, said Boris Johnson should start to ship vaccines overseas before the month is up, whilst 51 people (3 percent) said they did not know what he should do.

Many readers felt defensive of Britain’s vaccine stock, with Whitefish saying in the comments section: “We shouldn’t be looking after other people, let’s look after our own.”

In response, Circuscyaneus said: “Once enough of our own have been vaccinated then donating vaccines to other people IS looking after our own, the more the virus is circulating in unvaccinated parts of the world, the more new variants will emerge.

“We could end up with one worse than Delta and it could arrive here.

“It is in our self-interest, never mind being the right thing to do.”

This argument is supported by top scientist Sir Jeremy Farrar and the executive director of Unicef UK Steven Waugh who published an open letter to Mr Johnson appealing for the Prime Minister to “show historic leadership” ahead of the G7 summit on June 11.

They asked him to donate 20 percent of the UK’s Covid vaccines to other nations as soon as possible in order to protect the vulnerable in their home countries and to protect our own populous.

The letter read: “Three months ago, you proudly pledged that the UK would share vaccines with the world. Now we ask that you turn this pledge into reality.

“The world won’t be safe while any single country is still fighting the virus. Failing to act now risks reversing our hard-won progress.

“As long as the virus continues to circulate, it will continue to mutate.”

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