Gordon Brown: Western leaders ‘holding all of the playing cards’ and ‘should act now’ to vaccinate world towards COVID-19 | UK Information

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has accused wealthy nations of committing a “ethical outrage” by stockpiling a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines whereas many poorer nations are struggling to entry any.

Mr Brown mentioned that 200 million vaccines have been mendacity unused or have been about to reach in American and European warehouses.

By the tip of October the quantity could be 500 million, he mentioned, citing analysis by information agency Airfinity – sufficient to immunise virtually half of Africa, the place simply 70 million folks have been vaccinated.

He wrote within the Sunday Mirror: “We’re in a brand new arms race – to get vaccines into folks as rapidly as doable – however that is an arms race the place the West has a stranglehold on the vaccine provides

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“Already vaccines have saved 80,000 lives within the UK however denying vaccines – which are surplus right here – to poor nations is a stain on the world’s conscience and represents a catastrophic ethical failure in worldwide cooperation.

“If the world was one state, it could be declared a failed state.”

Mr Brown, who’s a United Nations particular envoy, mentioned US President Joe Biden and different leaders within the G7 (the world’s main industrialised nations) ought to urgently ship vaccines from their warehouses to Africa.

He additionally mentioned vaccine inequality was stopping Covax – the worldwide facility supposed to assist poorer nations entry vaccines – from assembly its promise to ship two billion doses to needy elements of the world this 12 months.

“It is in our curiosity to assist Africa stop the COVID illness mutating there to cease it returning to our shores. None of us will probably be protected wherever till all are protected in every single place,” he added.

“Solely Biden, Johnson, Merkel and Macron can bridge the rising divide between the world’s vaccine wealthy and vaccine poor.

“These leaders are holding all of the playing cards. They’ve the monopoly on vaccine orders.

“They’ve the cash to pay for vaccines to be despatched to Africa. Who lives and who dies is of their fingers. They usually can change supply contracts and switch vaccine orders from the west to Africa.”

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In April, the World Well being Organisation’s director common Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus mentioned there was a “surprising imbalance” within the international distribution of vaccines.

Mr Brown mentioned that until Western leaders determined to assist vaccinate the world, they might “condemn numerous extra to preventable deaths, let COVID unfold uninhibited within the poorest elements of the world and permit it to come back again to hang-out us all – even the totally vaccinated.

“It is time to act to finish what has turn into an ethical outrage and we should act now.”

Gordon Brown will probably be a visitor on Trevor Phillips On Sunday on Sky Information at 8.30am. He’ll speak about vaccinations, Afghanistan and public spending.

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