Gordon Brown urges rich countries to airlift surplus Covid vaccines to world’s poorest

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Gordon Brown has called connected the British authorities and different G20 countries to urgently put a subject airlift of surplus Covid vaccines to poorer countries earlier they expire, saying it is their “moral responsibility” to bash so.

The erstwhile premier curate has organised a missive from much than 160 erstwhile satellite leaders and planetary figures calling for richer countries to nonstop 240m vaccines stored successful the US, Europe and Canada to countries struggling to vaccinate their populations.

The missive is addressed to the Italian premier minister, Mario Draghi, who is hosting this weekend’s G20 acme successful Rome, and calls for urgent action.

Brown, who is the World Health Organization ambassador for planetary wellness financing, said astir 100m of the vaccines held successful the UK and different occidental countries would walk their expiry day by Christmas and hazard not being utilized astatine all.

“If you don’t get them retired quickly, you’re going to suffer them altogether,” helium told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “And I deliberation what radical hatred astir of each is waste, If you tin prevention lives done getting these vaccines out, it’s a motivation work to bash so, arsenic good arsenic being successful our self-interest to forestall further outbreaks of caller variants.”

Brown said 2% of low-income countries had been vaccinated and 5% of Africa, wherever lone 10% of wellness workers had been vaccinated.

He added: “We’ve got astir 240m vaccines that are stored successful America, Europe, United Kingdom and Canada that are not being used, that are not needed, due to the fact that we’ve accounted for vaccines for boosters and vaccines for young radical and we’ve got to get them retired to the radical who request them to prevention lives.”

More than 5 cardinal radical person died from coronavirus since the commencement of the pandemic. If vaccinations were not distributed, Brown warned that an further 5 cardinal radical would dice from the virus.

He said it was not the responsibility of Covax, the planetary vaccine organisation initiative, but that it was down to G20 leaders, who person power of what happens to unused vaccines that helium claimed were usually over-ordered.

He said the UK’s Covax donation of 100m vaccines was being distributed excessively dilatory and that the authorities lacked urgency.

“There’s an urgency astir redeeming lives and there’s besides an urgency astir preventing these vaccines passing their use-by date, and I don’t deliberation the British authorities has yet realised the urgency of the occupation and the request successful the poorest countries,” helium said.