UK should ‘share Covid vaccine doses with world over further boosters at home’

Most adults understand that ‘we need to vaccinate the world to end the pandemic at home’, according to a survey for the ONE Campaign.

A vial of Covid-19 vaccine. (Nick Potts/PA)
A vial of Covid-19 vaccine. (Nick Potts/PA)

Almost two thirds of adults feel the Government should share coronavirus vaccines with the world rather than deliver additional boosters domestically, polling suggests.

Most adults understand that “we need to vaccinate the world to end the pandemic at home”, according to a survey for the ONE Campaign, which works to end global poverty and disease.

They also feel that the disparity in vaccination levels between rich and poor countries is both “unwise and unfair”.

Some 2,186 UK adults were surveyed by Savanta ComRes online between January 7 and 9.

Six in 10 (63%) said that, if new variants were likely in countries with poor vaccine access, the UK should prioritise ensuring the vaccine is available everywhere over giving people a second booster.

A similar proportion (65%) said it is unfair that significantly fewer people in low-income countries are fully vaccinated than those in high-income countries.

More than half (53%) said they would be willing to forgo a fourth dose so a vulnerable person or frontline worker in another country could receive their first.

Almost three quarters (72%) say the UK should make ending the global pandemic its top priority, with a similar proportion agreeing that the UK economy will continue to suffer unless the virus is beaten everywhere.

Respondents also agreed that uneven access to the vaccine is a “moral failure” (66%); that the UK should rapidly speed up delivery of doses it has promised to share (70%); and that the UK should stop buying more doses than it needs (64%).

The UK delivered more than 30 million vaccines internationally last year. It has committed to donate 100 million doses around the world.

Lis Wallace, director of UK policy and advocacy at the ONE Campaign, said: “The UK public clearly understands that we need to vaccinate the world to end the pandemic at home.

“We can only stop the virus disrupting daily life here by preventing dangerous new variants from emerging and spreading rapidly elsewhere in the world.

“The findings also show a deep sense of fairness is driving British attitudes to how we address global vaccine access and people recognise that vaccinating the world is both the smart thing to do and the right thing to do.

“It’s time that the Government caught up with the British public on this – by stepping up our global efforts to end this pandemic for good.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson said: “The UK has been a world leader in ensuring developing countries can access vaccines, through our early support to the COVAX scheme and commitment to donate surplus vaccines. The PM has been clear that no one is safe until we are all safe.

“The UK has sent 25.4 million doses to countries in need already and we are managing our vaccine supply so that all vaccines are either used as quickly as possible in our domestic programme or shared internationally.”

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