Successful vaccines can come from anywhere – Britain, Cuba, Russia, China, the US, Australia, EU – but we will all need them.

Any vaccine against Covid-19 must be considered a global public good, free of charge at the time of shipment. Governments, industry and philanthropy must gather resources to pay for risk, research, manufacture and distribution, but vaccines must be available to everyone, regardless of where they have been developed or who has funded them.

If countries begin to partner with producers to secure their own supply, poorer countries will be excluded and left vulnerable. Likewise maybe many rich countries.

And the world must grapple with fresh waves for years to come. In our poll, nearly nine out of 10 British adults oppose the idea that coronavirus treatments and vaccines must first be made available to those around the world who can afford it.

Securing vaccines for the world is not just a matter of altruism: it is in the self-interest of every country to end this pandemic as soon as possible. England will only benefit when everyone benefits, and we must lead.

Sir Jeremy Farrar is a member of the Sage and director of the Wellcome Trust. He was previously a professor of tropical medicine at Oxford University.


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