UK signs deals to buy 90 million doses of two coronavirus vaccine candidates

The UK government has signed agreements to buy 90 million doses of two promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

The doses would be enough to vaccinate and protect “priority groups” identified, such as frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk, the government said in a statement.

With Monday’s agreement, the government has secured access to three possible different types of COVID-19 vaccine. The new agreements were signed with vaccine companies BioNTech/Pfizer and Valneva that are developing innovative new vaccines to protect people against coronavirus.

Earlier, the government signed an agreement to buy 100 million doses of the Oxford university vaccine being developed with AstraZeneca.

“…The government has agreed on significant partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and vaccine companies BioNTech/Pfizer and Valneva that are developing innovative new vaccines to protect people against coronavirus. The government has also secured access to treatments containing COVID-19-neutralising antibodies from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients,” the statement read.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said the new agreements will ensure that the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk.

“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,” the statement quoted Sharma as saying.

The government has signed a binding agreement with BioNTech/Pfizer to secure 30 million doses of the vaccine. It also signed an in-principle agreement for 60 million doses with Valneva.

“If the vaccine is proven to be safe, effective and suitable, the UK has secured an option to acquire a further 40 million doses,” the statement said.

The government said that it has secured one million doses of a treatment containing COVID-19 neutralising antibodies to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients from AstraZeneca.

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