The UK government has agreed a contract for 35 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine to “future proof” the country from the threat of Covid-19.
The deal, announced today, will ensure that more vaccines are available in the second half of 2022 to protect against current and future variants of the virus.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said: “while we continue to build this wall of defence from COVID-19, it’s also vital we do everything we can to protect the country for the future too – whether that’s from the virus as we know it or new variants.”
“I am pleased we’ve reached this agreement with Pfizer for more doses as part of our robust preparations to future-proof our vaccine programme, ensuring we have plans in place to keep the nation safe for years to come,” Javid added.
The news comes as the government begins preparation for a booster programme this Winter which will target those most vulnerable to Covid-19.
However, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, has today said that he is “really disappointed” with the lack of vaccine donations worldwide with wealthier nations growing their vaccine stockpiles while many countries struggle to distribute first and second doses.
In a statement the government said the UK is committed to supporting global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and improving access to vaccines, announcing that it will be donating 100 million vaccine doses within the next year.
Pfizer’s share price is up 3.21 per cent today following news of the government contract and the announcement of an agreement to buy all the shares of cancer drugmaker, Trillium Therapeutics.