The government has cut a deal with vaccine makers for millions of new jabs, as Pfizer’s boss predicts that booster jabs are here to stay.
The deal for 114m Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna jabs has secured doses for next year and 2023.
It seeks to “future proof” the UK’s immunisation programme, health secretary Sajid Javid said this morning.
With new variants of Covid-19 expected to keep emerging as long as there is room for the virus to spread, Pfizer boss Albert Bourla said annual vaccinations will be needed to maintain a “very high level of protection”.
The latest strain of the virus, Omicron, had prompted the government’s deal, for an undisclosed sum.
Though the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove assured that early signs signal that some Omicron cases are “mild”.
The government has bought 54m of Pfizer’s jabs and 60m of the Moderna vaccine.
The health secretary added: “This is a national mission and our best weapon to deal with this virus and its variants is to get jabs in arms – so when you are called forward, get the jab and get boosted.