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Former UK Prime Minister Urges Rich Nations to Send COVID-19 Vaccines to Poor Countries

© AFP 2023 / PHILL MAGAKOEA healthcare worker administers a SINOVAC Covid-19 vaccine on a minor during the Numolux/SINOVAC Pae
A healthcare worker administers a SINOVAC Covid-19 vaccine on a minor during the Numolux/SINOVAC Pae - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.09.2021
LONDON (Sputnik) – Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, recently appointed goodwill ambassador for global health financing by the World Health Organisation (WHO), urged rich countries on Monday to share their surplus doses of COVID-19 vaccines with low-income countries in Africa without delay.
"We’ve been stockpiling vaccines, we’ve got a mountain of vaccines in America and in Europe, they’re not going to be used even when we do the boosters and the 12 to 15-year-olds," Brown told Sky News broadcaster in his first interview following his appointment by WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The former prime minister (2007 to 2010) said that those millions of vaccines left over should be sent to the rest of world, "otherwise they are going to pass their use-by date and expire, and be of no use to anybody, and all of us hate waste."
After noting that only 2% of Africa and only 2% of low-income countries are vaccinated, Brown stressed that having the African population immunised against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as soon as possible is also in the interest of the UK to avoid the disease spreading globally.
"It’s in our interests in Britain that they are vaccinated because the disease will spread in Africa, it will mutate and there will be new variants, it will come back to haunt even the fully vaccinated in Britain unless we take action," he said.
Gordon Brown
Former UK Prime Minister
As for his plans as the new WHO ambassador for global health financing, Brown said that 300 million vaccines could be transferred from the United States and Europe this month, plus 500 million next month and a billion by December.
"We need to get all the resources at our disposal to airlift them to get them out to the countries that need them, get the vaccinations happening and provide some support," he added.
According to the former prime minister, the entire world could be vaccinated by next summer if developed nations help in the roll-out beyond their own borders.
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