Boris Johnson says the UK will donate any surplus vaccine supplies
Nicole Johnston in London
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the UK will donate any surplus supplies of COVID-19 vaccine to the rest of the world.
While chairing a virtual meeting, Johnson said "around the world [we need to] make sure everybody gets the vaccine and everybody comes through this pandemic together."
The UK has ordered 400 million doses of various vaccines.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with Johnson. "Everyone has to play a part so it's important to get vaccines for COVAX quickly, or make a contribution from the vaccines already promised to us and give some of them away," she said.
COVAX is the international organization set up to ensure 92 poorer countries receive doses of the vaccine. The first announcement on which countries will start to receive vaccine is expected next week.
Johnson is also pushing for a 100-day target for the development of new vaccines. He said his government wants to reduce competition among pharmaceutical companies and reduce regulatory approval to fast-track vaccine development.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe should donate 5 percent of its vaccine to Africa.
The United Nations said that while 10 countries have administered 75 percent of all the world's COVID-19 jabs so far, another 130 countries have no COVID-19 vaccine.