The UK has secured an extra 60m doses of the Pfizer vaccine to be used for the country’s booster programme that will aim to protect against new variants.
The Department of Health said in a statement that the government will also buy booster doses of other vaccines as well to administer the booster programme.
About 34m people in the UK have received their first vaccine and more than 13.5m have received their second jab.
However, there are fears new variants that are resistant to the some of the vaccines could derail the rollout.
The government has said in the past that pharmaceutical companies are working on booster jabs that will be able to protect against new Covid variants, such as the South African strain.
“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,” health secretary Matt Hancock said.
“These further 60 million doses will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster programme from later this year, so we can protect the progress that we’ve all made.”
Hancock said at a government press conference today that new studies showed that one Covid vaccine reduces transmission of the disease by 50 per cent, while also resulting in a 80 per cent reduction in the likelihood of ending up in hospital and 85 per cent protection from dying in Covid.
“We’re looking to see if a second dose has an even bigger effect,” Hancock said.