‘Every person in the UK’ will be offered a free Covid-19 vaccine on the NHS before private companies can sell the vaccine.
Healthcare providers will be able to source products from manufacturers such as BioNTech / Pfizer and Astrazeneca / Oxford for sale to their customers, but such orders will be placed “at the back of the queue”, according to reports. government sources.
The move is intended to allay fears that the wealthiest people will have priority access to a vaccine over the less well off.
Healthcare providers will be able to source products from manufacturers such as BioNTech / Pfizer and Astrazeneca / Oxford for sale to their customers, but such orders will be placed at the ‘end of the queue’, sources say. government.
A source told inews: ‘We have enough vaccines for everyone in the UK and everyone will be offered a vaccine for free on the NHS. Even though private healthcare providers order licensed vaccines, we have agreed on priority over delivery.
The Department of Health said it had reached an agreement for 350 million doses of the vaccine from six separate developers, which would be more than enough to meet the needs of the entire British population.
A spokesperson confirmed that it would be available free on the NHS to all eligible people, with those most at risk being the first to benefit.
It comes just days after one of England’s top health officials admitted that millions of people could miss the best vaccines because they need to be given as early as possible.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, one of the deputy chief medical officers, said speed was essential and the country should not “let the perfect become the enemy of the good”.
People most vulnerable to Covid-19, such as the elderly and those with cancer, must receive the first quality vaccine available in order to stop the epidemic, he said.
This, scientists admit, will likely mean millions of people will receive a less than perfect vaccine, but getting it early would save more lives than waiting for a better one.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced this week that their jab could be 90% effective and could be made available to the public as early as next month, triggering a drive to determine who will receive the jab first, how it will be distributed, and when it will be. distributed. to arrive at.
People wearing face masks line up for coronavirus test at a center in Liverpool
One of the main scientists behind the vaccine said yesterday it would “hit the virus over the head” and end the pandemic.
Billionaire Uğur Şahin, CEO of German company BioNTech, said: “If the question is whether we can stop this pandemic with this vaccine, then my answer is: yes.
But scientists around the world – and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – have warned that the coup will not be a quick fix as there is still no guarantee it will work, even if the new trial preliminaries were a light. at the end of the tunnel.
A number of questions remain unanswered, especially whether the vaccine works in older people – given that most of the trial volunteers were young and healthy.
Full data is expected in the next three weeks, Şahin said. It is expected to be able to prevent the disease, but it may not be known for a year that the vaccine can prevent people with the coronavirus and spread it to others, he said. he admitted.