The UK has agreed a contract for 35 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, to be delivered from the second half of next year.
The government, through the Vaccine Taskforce, is putting in place preparations to future-proof the country from the threat of COVID-19 and its variants through safe and effective vaccines, as the UK’s world-renowned vaccination programme continues to protect the population.
These include robust plans for ensuring the country remains ahead of the virus for years to come and for any future booster programmes, as well as working to make the UK a global centre of excellence for the next generation of vaccines.
The Vaccine Taskforce has contracts in place with multiple vaccine manufacturers.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
"The UK’s phenomenal vaccination programme is providing tens of millions of people with protection from COVID-19, saving 95,200 lives and preventing 82,100 hospitalisations in the over 65s in England alone.
"While we continue to build this wall of defence from COVID-19, it’s also vital we do everything we can to protect the country for the future too – whether that’s from the virus as we know it or new variants.
"I am pleased we’ve reached this agreement with Pfizer for more doses as part of our robust preparations to future-proof our vaccine programme, ensuring we have plans in place to keep the nation safe for years to come."
The UK is committed to supporting global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and improving access to vaccines, and will be donating 100 million vaccine doses within the next year. The donation of the first 9 million doses was announced last month.
The UK is also one of the largest donors to the COVAX facility, the global mechanism to help developing countries access a coronavirus vaccine, and has committed £548 million in UK aid to help distribute 1.3 billion doses to 92 developing countries this year.
The government is preparing for a booster programme this year to ensure those most vulnerable to COVID-19 are protected. The booster programme will be based on the final advice of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), expected in September.
COVID-19 vaccines have saved 95,200 lives. They have also prevented 82,100 hospitalisations and 23.9 million infections in England alone, according to the latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University.
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