Development programs are currently underway across the world, with a candidate created by the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford arguably the best hope for a drug made in the UK.
Trials in the UK have been hampered by the relatively small amount of coronavirus circulating in the community, making it impossible for scientists to judge whether the drug is effective.
The Oxford trial therefore set up weapons in South Africa and Brazil, where community transmission rates are higher.
The government has now reached deals which it says will give UK citizens quick access to 90 million doses of two other potential Covid-19 vaccines.
As part of the tentative agreements, the UK has secured 60 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, supporting a phase 3 clinical trial with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Some 30 million doses have been obtained from Janssen and ministers have agreed in principle to co-fund a global clinical study of its vaccine.
Earlier this month, Vladimir Putin announced that the Gamaleya Institute in Moscow had produced a safe and effective vaccine which had been administered to his daughter.
The global scientific community, however, has called for caution and challenged Russia to release all data to support this claim.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: ‘I am very grateful to those who volunteered for researchers to contact them to participate in studies on the Covid-19 vaccine, via the research registry on the NHS Covid-19 vaccine.
“The more people who volunteer to participate, the more likely we are to find an answer as to whether a vaccine is working.”