UK secures 60mn more Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine doses for autumn booster jabs
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Hind Al Soulia – Riyadh – Saudi Gazette report
LONDON — The United Kingdom has secured an extra 60 million Pfizer coronavirus vaccine doses with an aim to roll them out as part of a booster campaign in the autumn, the UK government said on Wednesday in a press release.
“To protect the most vulnerable ahead of the winter, the government is preparing for a booster program based on a clinical need to ensure people have the strongest possible protection against COVID-19,” the government statement read.
According to the statement, the additional Pfizer/BioNTech jabs will be used alongside other approved COVID-19 vaccines for the booster program.
This comes as new data from Public Health England show that one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine reduces household transmission of the virus by up to half.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Our vaccination program is bringing back our freedom, but the biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant.”
“We’re working on our plans for booster shots, which are the best way to keep us safe and free while we get this disease under control across the whole world,” he added.
According to Hancock, the additional 60 million doses will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster program from later this year, so “we can protect the progress that we’ve all made”.
Meanwhile, UK Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “We are doing everything we can to make sure the most vulnerable are protected from COVID-19 now and in the future.”
“Our brilliant vaccines taskforce has secured an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to support our booster program, which will be developed in line with the advice of our experts.”
“In the meantime, we are making great progress with our vaccination rollout and I urge everybody to get their vaccines as soon as they are eligible,” the minister added.
Overall, the UK has secured access to 517 million doses of eight of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines. These are:
— Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses, including the additional 60 million doses
— Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses
— Moderna for 17 million doses
— Janssen for 30 million doses
— Novavax for 60 million doses
— Valneva for 100 million doses
— GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses
— CureVac for 50 million doses
Health services across the UK have now administered a total of 47,540,984 million vaccines between Dec. 8 and April 27, including 33,959,908 million people with their first dose (64.5 percent of all adults) and 13,581,076 million with their second (25.8 percent of all adults).
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