UK buys a further 60 million Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

UK buys a further 60 million Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines

The Department of Health and Social Care has announced that the UK has bought a further 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The extra jabs are in preparation for the government’s booster programme, which aims to protect the most vulnerable before the winter months. This announcement was accompanied by a speech from the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, in which he also discussed how the UK is supporting India, the latest transmission data, updates on the UK vaccination programme, and the latest data on antibodies.

The extra vaccine doses bring the total secured by the UK to 517 million across eight different vaccines (not all of which have been rolled out yet):

• 100 million from Pfizer/BioNTech

• 100 million from Oxford/AstraZeneca

• 17 million from Moderna

• 30 million from Janssen

• 60 million from Novavax

• 100 milliion from Valneva

• 60 million fromf GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur

• 50 million from CureVac

Hancock said that the extra vaccines ‘will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster shot programme from later this year. And that is all about protecting the progress that we’ve made.’

He also addressed the situation in India, highlighting that it ‘is a stark reminder that this isn’t over yet'. The UK has already sent a first support package to help with the crisis and Hancock said more supplies will arrive in the coming week.

In relation to the UK situation, Hancock confirmed that anyone aged 42 and over may now receive their first jab. He also spoke about the tangible results of the vaccination programme, as seven in ten adults now have coronavirus antibodies according to the latest antibody data. The latest transmission data was also touched upon, which suggests that from the first dose of a vaccine each individual gets approximately two-thirds protection from catching coronavirus and a 50% reduction in the likelihood of passing it on.

Sources:

• UK secures extra 60 million Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines

• Health and Social Care Secretary's statement on coronavirus (COVID-19): 28 April 2021

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