Britain will begin sending surplus vaccines abroad within weeks (Image: Getty Images)
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Britain will donate at least 100 million coronavirus jabs to the world's poorest nations over the next year, Boris Johnson has announced.
Five million vaccines will be sent abroad by the end of September, the Prime Minister pledged – with 25 million more by the end of 2021.
Mr Johnson made the vow before the G7 summit officially gets underway today(FRI) in Cornwall, with world leaders hoping to unveil promises to supply a billion doses through donations and funds.
Speaking in Carbis Bay, the PM said: “As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine programme we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them.
“In doing so, we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good.
“At the G7 Summit I hope my fellow leaders will make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus.”
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden met ahead of the G7 summit, accompanied by First Lady Jill Biden and the PM's wife Carrie Johnson
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Joe Biden announced the US was buying 500 million Pfizer/BioNTech jabs for foreign countries in a $3.5billion (£2.47bn) move.
The American President said: “We are taking a major step that will supercharge the global fight against this pandemic.
“We are doing this to save lives, to end this pandemic, period.”
The doses will start to be shipped in August, with 200 million sent in 2021 and 300 million in the first half of next year.
Four-fifths of the UK's donated doses will go to Covax, the global initiative for ensuring poorer nations get access to vaccines.
The remaining 20% will be sent directly to other countries.
Giving away the surplus stock will not affect Britain's vaccination programme.
But it will count as overseas development assistance, in a move the PM hopes will quell a bitter parliamentary revolt over his decision to slash the Government's foreign aid budget by £4billion – breaking a manifesto commitment.
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The pledge to spend 0.7% of gross national income is enshrined in law.
But the PM has used a loophole to claim the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis allows the Government to slash it to 0.5%.
Experts and campaigners have stepped up calls for rich nations with high levels of inoculation to provide doses to poorer countries.
Figures on Thursday showed 77.6% of British adults have received a first dose and 54.8% a second.
Scientists warn that leaving unvaccinated regions abroad raises the risk to the UK of Covid-19 variants being imported.
The Indian mutation, which is at least 40% more transmissible than the Kent strain identified last winter, is thought to be behind at least three quarters of recent UK cases.
Mr Johnson hopes the jabs giveaway will pile pressure on fellow G7 leaders to issue their own commitments this weekend in Cornwall.
Boris Johnson and Joe Biden met for the first time at the G7 summit in Cornwall
(Image: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing Street)
The vaccines' announcement came after Mr Johnson and the President held talks before the summit finally kicks off at lunchtime.
Admiring the stunning view from Carbis Bay, Mr Biden said: “It's gorgeous, I don't want to go home.”
The leaders and their wives, Carrie Johnson and Jill Biden, strolled along the seafront – their first face-to-face meeting.
As the two men sat next to each other before negotiations began, Mr Biden quipped: "I told the Prime Minister we have something in common – we both married way above our stations."
The PM replied: “I'm not going to dissent on that one. I'm not going to disagree with you there or indeed on anything else, I think highly likely."
However, the run-up to their talks had been far from smooth.
UK wants whole world vaccinated by end of 2022 and will 'send 100m jabs abroad'
Overnight it emerged America's most senior diplomat in London issued a “demarche” – a formal protest – about Britain's approach to the Brexit deal's Northern Ireland Protocol.
Mr Biden, who has Irish roots, takes a keen interest in its politics.
A mounting row threatens to derail the summit with Brussels poised to wage a trade war if Britain fails to check goods entering Northern Ireland under the divorce settlement agreed with the bloc.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are attending the seaside get-together.
The prospect of a "sausage war" came after Brexit Minister Lord Frost refused to rule out delaying imposing checks on British-made chilled meats which are due to come into force at the end of the month.
But, following talks with the President, Mr Johnson denied a Brexit rift with Mr Biden.
The PM insisted: “There's complete harmony on the need to keep going, find solutions, and make sure we uphold the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.”
Carrie Johnson and First Lady Dr Jill Biden play with baby Wilfred, the PM's son
(Image: Simon Dawson / No10 Downing Street)
Earlier, the President taunted Mr Johnson by tweeting he was looking forward to "affirming the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom".
This week it emerged the PM thought the phrase made Britain look “needy and weak”.
Speaking after their 80-minute discussion, Mr Johnson called the relationship “strategic” – and delivered a thinly-veiled rebuke to Donald Trump.
“It's an incredibly important, strategic relationship,” said Mr Johnson.
“The talks were very good, there's no question that under President Biden there's a massive amount that the new US administration wants to do together with the UK on everything from security, working together on all the issues, projecting our values around the world together, but also on climate change.
“It's a big breath of fresh air, it's new, it's interesting.”
The PM is set to hold a series of meetings before the summit's first joint session.
As well as hosting G7 leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US, the leaders of Australia, South Africa and South Korea will also attend as guests.
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Indian PM Narendra Modi will appear virtually.
Strict measures are in place around summit venues to curb the risk of spreading coronavirus.
But last night the Pedn Olva hotel in St Ives, which was hosting G7 media and security staff, closed following an outbreak.
It said a number of staff had been affected and it would close for deep cleaning following discussions with Public Health England.
The summit is taking place amid heavy security.
The 65,000-tonne, £3.1billion aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales stood off the coast yesterday(THU) – one of seven Royal Navy vessels in St Ives Bay.
Some 27,000ft above the warship, the PM's RAF voyager plane, which is also an air-to-air refuelling tanker, circled at 480mph, ready to top up a Eurofighter Typhoon which was patrolling the skies in case it needed to intercept aerial threats.