The European Union has so far refused to put a number on the amount of vaccines they could pledge to poorer countries around the world. BBC host Christian Fraser grilled a top advisor to French President Emmanuel Macron on whether France may skip “naming a figure” in order to not give Boris Johnson “a victory” as host of the G7 Summit. Boris Johnson has urged the world’s richest countries to pledge a billion doses of coronavirus vaccines in a collective effort to end the pandemic.
Thomas Philippon, a G7 economic advisor to Mr Macron, told the BBC that he “did not know the answer” to the number of vaccines France will donate.
When Mr Fraser pressed on the figure “we are going to get from France,” Mr Philippon responded: “That I cannot tell you. I don’t know what the pledges will be.
“Europe has been the most open to importing and exporting the vaccine, so they have done the share of the work.”
Mr Fraser followed up on this: “I want to push you on what we will get from France.”
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He continued: “There has been talk on the side of the G7 Summit about whether the European leaders will actually put their name to a figure.
“That would give Boris Johnson a victory here because he has talked about getting a billion vaccines.
“Or are you going to wait to make an announcement once the G7 is over?
“Will we get a number from France over the next three days?”
However, the top advisor to the French President again dodged the question.
Mr Johnson said: “As a result of the success of the UK’s vaccine programme we are now in a position to share some of our surplus doses with those who need them.
“In doing so we will take a massive step towards beating this pandemic for good.”
The Prime Minister piled the pressure on European leaders, saying he hoped his fellow leaders at the G7 Summit would “make similar pledges so that, together, we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year”.
Previously, the EU had agreed to donate at least 100 million doses by the end of 2021, with France and Germany each committing to providing 30 million shots.
However, there is growing pressure on the EU to do more to vaccinate the rest of the world.