British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has called for “a truly global effort” against COVID-19, saying that “the race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries.”
The British High Commission in Nigeria said in a statement that Johnson made the call on Monday during a virtual Coronavirus Global Response International Pledging Conference co-hosted by the UK and eight other countries and organisations.
The UK is co-hosting the summit with Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the European Commission.
“To win this battle, we must work together to build an impregnable shield around all our people, and that can only be achieved by developing and mass producing a vaccine.
“The more we pull together and share our expertise, the faster our scientists will succeed.
“The race to discover the vaccine to defeat this virus is not a competition between countries, but the most urgent shared endeavour of our lifetimes.
“It’s humanity against the virus – we are in this together, and together we will prevail,” said the British leader.
He used the forum to confirm his country’s pledge of £388 million funding for research into vaccines, tests and treatments – part of a larger £744 million existing UK aid commitment to the $8 billion global target to help end the pandemic and support the global economy.
He said that tackling Coronavirus globally would also ensure that life-saving vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tests are available as soon as possible.
Also speaking, British International Development Secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said the UK was playing its part in stopping the global spread of coronavirus to save lives everywhere.
“It is only by working together that we will prevent future waves of infection and end this pandemic as quickly as possible.
“By strengthening developing countries’ health systems and working to find a vaccine,” Trevelyan said.
On June 4, the UK will host the Global Vaccine Summit, bringing together countries and organisations to follow the UK’s lead in investing in the work of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.