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REUTERS Dado Ruvic
REUTERS Dado Ruvic
World News

Christian charity puts pressure on UK Government to send more vaccines abroad

by Alex Collett

A Christian charity is urging the UK to dish out more vaccines to impoverished countries after ranking 17th out of all the G20 countries. 

Christian Aid has suggested the Government ought to do more to support the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the global south.

In places like Kenya, Sierra Leone and Burundi, Christian Aid is working with partners to tackle vaccine misinformation.

They believe a comprehensive debt cancellation package is essential to help low-income countries vaccinate their people.   

Christian Aid's Chief of Policy Oli Pearce told Premier: "There is inequality in the allocation of vaccines around the world. 

"It's quite startling that under 15% of people in low income countries have had only one shot of a vaccine.

"The vast majority of people in poorer countries haven't had a single dose of the vaccine there. 

"We know, in the UK, how lucky many of us are to have had the protection that vaccines afford us.

"What really struck me at an event in Krishna held with faith leaders from different countries in Africa, is that those faith leaders are reminding people how important it is to get a vaccine when it's available.

"They also want to pressure governments, in their countries and in richer countries, to make sure that vaccines can be more readily available to anyone who needs one. 

The faith leaders were very clear in their messaging, but also in their prayers that they shared with us at that event, that the sense of solidarity is really important.

"Because these kinds of viruses don't respect borders, and that our health is dependent on each other's well being."

According to the World Health Organisation, for every six adults recieving their booster shots in middle and high income countries, one adult in a low-income country recieves their first jab. 

Oli expressed how he would like the UK government to act: "I think the UK government can and should do, is to support the global efforts for intellectual property to be waived on the production of vaccines. 

"The UK has been one of the countries that's been blocking this at the World Trade Organisation. 

"There have been some discussions about compromise measures, but we're not sure if they're going to be very progressive and allowing lots of vaccines to be manufactured in lots of different countries.

"In addition within the UK can and should provide more funding, and although it has promised to share some of its excess doses it hasn't fulfilled as much of its promised by now as it should have done and we think it can go further and faster on that."

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