UK preparing vaccine offer for delegates ahead of climate talks – POLITICO

The U.K. wants to send COVID-19 vaccines to delegates to the COP26 U.N. climate talks who are otherwise unable to access them, the government announced Thursday evening.

A POLITICO survey, released this week, found a large discrepancy in expected vaccination rates between rich and poor country delegations, raising concerns about the U.K.’s ability to host the conference safely and fairly in November.

All developed country delegations that responded said they expected to be fully vaccinated by the time talks began. One-third of developing countries said they would not, or could not be sure.

The U.K. said it was working with the U.N. and other international partners on delivery of the vaccine offer.

“This will mean that those countries most affected by climate change are better able to participate fully in discussions about creating a greener future for the planet,” a government statement read.

U.K. officials have been wary about a program of vaccinations for government officials and elite bureaucrats, when their wider populations remain at risk from the virus. But the announcement was made as part of a broader commitment to draw 100 million doses of the vaccines from the U.K.’s surplus within the coming year and donate them to other countries.

POLITICO’s survey, which received responses from 51 out of 197 delegations, also asked whether countries would accept a U.K.-run program to distribute vaccines to COP26 attendees. Developing countries overwhelmingly responded that they would.

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