BORIS Johnson is being called on to end the UK’s “appalling” blocking of a proposal to share Covid vaccine recipes with the world’s poorest nations.

SNP Westminster leader Ian ­Blackford has demanded the Prime Minister backs the waiving of ­patent rights for Covid-19 technology – even on a temporary basis – so that ­developing nations can manufacture vaccines themselves.

In a letter to Johnson, he said that the emergent Omicron variant must be the final wakeup call that “until everyone is safe, no-one is safe”. A leading charity has also described Johnson’s opposition to the waiver as “appalling” and said a failure to act would be “shameful”.

Around 54.2% of the global ­population has had at least one dose of ­coronavirus vaccine – but in low-income countries this falls to just 5.8%, according to end of November figures.

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Blackford said: “We will not ­defeat this virus if developing nations are left to rely on vaccine donations alone – especially considering the UK has only donated six million out of a pledged 100 million to the Covax ­initiative.

“All countries must have the tools to allow them to produce Covid ­vaccines on home soil and ramp up production if we are to have a truly effective global vaccine strategy. That means ensuring they have access to the vaccine patents.

“So I am urging Boris Johnson to do the right thing and stop ­blocking the vaccine intellectual property ­waiver – at least temporarily – to ­allow ­developing nations to ­manufacture the vaccines themselves.”

Blackford added: “This is a ­matter of global leadership, and with over 100 states, including the USA ­supporting the proposal, it is clear the UK is becoming increasingly isolated in blocking the waiver to support ­access to vaccines around the world.

“Indeed, it is the least the UK Government can do after it brutally slashed aid and hindered humanitarian projects around the world.

“The emergence of the new Omicron variant has shown us that, ­until we achieve vaccine equality, new ­variants could continue to appear.

“Therefore, it is in everybody’s ­interests that we share vaccine ­patents – it will be an essential step in beating Covid-19.”

Oxfam Scotland welcomed Blackford’s letter to the Prime Minister, saying the UK Government is ­looking “more and more isolated as it as it continues to stubbornly stand on the wrong side of history”.

Speaking on Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland yesterday, Max Lawson, global head of ­inequality policy for Oxfam, said: “Imagine your house is on fire and you put out the fire in one room, but you leave it to burn in the rest of the house.

“There is an insanity here – the reason we have all these variations and mutations is because the disease is spreading without any control in many parts of the world.

“And the reason for that is because vaccines have been hoarded by rich countries and are hidden behind the monopolies of big firms.

“Taxpayers’ money went to science which discovered these vaccines, but the vaccines were privatised. ­Companies get to decide who they sell the vaccine to and for what price.”

He added: “No-one is suggesting they shouldn’t make a return, but to make $1000 a ­second is unacceptable. And we need to share the vaccines.”

Lawson said he recently spoke to one vaccine producer in Vietnam who had estimated they could have made 120-130 million doses by now if they had received the recipe which they asked for in May.

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“Boris Johnson is one of the big ­opponents of this on the ­global stage. He is absolutely avidly ­opposed to sharing of patents, sharing of ­recipes,” he added. “It really is ­appalling, the position of the UK on this – they are blocking the sharing of these vaccines with really fantastic producers in South Africa, Brazil, India who could have been making these vaccines and could have protected so many more people.”

A No 10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister has been clear that no-one is safe until we are all safe. The UK has been a world leader in ensuring developing countries can access vaccines, through our early support to the Covax scheme and commitment to donate surplus vaccines.

“We are on track to meet our goal of donating 30 million doses by the end of this year, and more next year. We have donated 23 million doses already, of which 18.5 million have gone to Covax to distribute to developing countries.

“The UK is engaging constructively in the Trips waiver debate at the World Trade Organisation and we continue to be open to all ideas that have a positive impact on vaccine production and distribution.”