The British health minister has said that Britain currently has no additional doses to send to India – currently home to the world’s worst coronovirus outbreak – despite the country’s ongoing vaccination rollout that has successfully pushed its priority groups Have been vaccinated and he is young. Ages.
Despite a growing call for wealthy countries to distribute their surplus vaccines equally, Hancock said they are providing the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine to India at a cost and working closely with the Serum Institute of India (SII) Have been.
SII is “manufacturing and producing more doses of vaccine than any other single organization. And this obviously means that they can make the vaccine available to people in India.
“We are bending over, both what we can provide and the physical things that we can now provide like ventilators that we don’t need anything else here,” he said.
“India can produce its own vaccines based on British technology … This is the largest contribution we can effectively make from British science,” Hancock said.
India is in the grip of a deadly second wave of coronovirus that has seen upwards of 300,000 cases for eight consecutive days, with more than 200,000 deaths after 3,293 people died in the country on Wednesday.
Hancock’s comment on vaccine exports came in the form of a recent Ipsos MORI survey which found that many people in the UK are willing to send vaccines to India.
On Tuesday, the survey found 1,016 adults aged 16–75 who found:
- Nearly two-thirds (63%) surveyed say they support Britain in giving its vaccines to India when everyone has been vaccinated in the UK
- 43% of respondents supported sending the vaccine to India “as soon as possible” even though it is slowing down UK lockdown restrictions.
- 36% of respondents said they were in favor of sending the vaccine “as soon as possible”, even if it delayed the UK vaccine rollout – or was the result of a long wait for vaccines for their friends and family .
According to the latest government data, more than 33.9 million people in the UK have already received the first dose of a Kovid-19 vaccine, with more than 13.5 million vaccinated.
On Wednesday, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) announced that it would ship to three “oxygen factories” in India, saying in a statement that three oxygen generation units – each the size of a shipping container – would be shipped from Northern Ireland. The surplus will produce stock and 500 liters of oxygen every minute, which is enough for 50 people to use at a time.
The FCO statement said Britain had already committed to providing 495 oxygen concentrators and 200 ventilators shipped from surplus stock to India.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Rab said in a statement, “International cooperation is more necessary than ever, and this additional UK support package will help meet India’s current needs, particularly for more oxygen.”
The FCO’s statement comes as the aid sector heavily criticized Britain’s plan to cut 85% of aid to the United Nations family planning program.
A top UN official on Wednesday called the move “devastating for women and girls and their families around the world”.
“When funding stops, women and girls suffer, especially from remote, ineligible communities and those who are suffering from humanitarian crises,” said Natalia Kanim, head of the United Nations Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency, in a statement on Wednesday.
This means that the UK’s expected contribution of £ 154 million (around US $ 211 million) will be reduced to around £ 23 million (US $ 32 million).
Talking about the cuts, Rab said it was part of the Foreign Office’s efforts to ensure “maximum strategic coherence, impact and value for taxpayers’ money”.
Last year, the UK also triggered criticism from the humanitarian sector when it slashed aid from 0.7% to 0.5% of national income.