The UK government has announced that it has secured deals for 90 million doses of 2 possible COVID-19 vaccines from the collaboration of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech, and French group Valneva.
The Business Ministry said that UK has secured 30 million doses of the experimental BioNtech/Pfizer vaccine and a deal in principle for 60 million doses of the Valveva vaccine, with an option of 40 million more doses if it was proven to be safe, effective and suitable.
UK now has 3 different types of vaccine under development with a total of 230 million doses possibly available, although no working vaccine against COVID-19 has been fully developed yet.
The UK Business Minister, Alok Sharma said that UK would now have access to 3 different types of vaccines being developed domestically and around the world and it had also launched a website for volunteers to sign up for vaccine studies.
Alok Sharma said, ‘’This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk.’’
Sharma also pointed out that the race to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus disease is a global endeavor and UK government is doing everything it can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.
This new set of deals is coming on the heels of previously announced agreement with AstraZeneca (AZN.L) for the firm to produce 100 million doses of its potential vaccine which is being developed in partnership with the University of Oxford.
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Britain said it was the first to get into such deal which Pfizer and BioNTech. The firms had agreed to supply the vaccine, which is being tested in early to mid-stage trials.
The firms are aiming to make up to 100 million doses by the end of this year and potentially more than 1.2 billion doses by end of 2021, if the vaccine is successful.