The government has announced it has signed new deals which will provide more than 90 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine.
In a statement from Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the government said it has secured an agreement for 30 million doses of a vaccine being developed – and currently at phase two trials – by BioNTech and German firm Pfizer.
The partnerships mean England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could have access to enough doses to vaccinate and protect priority groups such as those at increased health risk and frontline workers.
Sharma said the new agreements would “ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk”.
However Kate Bingham, chair of the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce, warned that despite progress, there are still no guarantees that a successful vaccine will be found.
“We have to be very cautious because there has never been a vaccine against a coronavirus and there may never be one. What we have been tasked to do is to protect the UK population against Covid-19 through vaccination and do so as quickly as we can,” she told Sky News.
“And the announcements this morning show that the UK is absolutely at the forefront of global efforts to source and develop vaccines from across the world, across as range of different technology.”
The figure of 90 million is in addition to the 100 million doses of vaccine that are being developed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca, as well as another at Imperial College London which started human trials in June.
Initial data from the Oxford/AstraZeneca trial – which is now in its third phase of human trials in Brazil – is due to be released on Wednesday, with high expectations over its efficacy. Read more