British ministers get 114 million more Covid vaccines for next two years

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British ministers have secured new contracts to purchase 114 million more Covid-19 vaccines over the next two years.

The agreements, for 2022 and 2023, were accelerated after the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, officials said. Under the agreements, the UK will buy an additional 54 million doses from Pfizer / BioNTech and an additional 60 million doses from Moderna.

The purchases are in addition to the 35 million additional doses of Pfizer / BioNTech ordered in August for delivery in the second half of 2022, officials said. The UK is also still awaiting 60 million doses of Novavax and 7.5 million doses of GSK / Sanofi in 2022.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new agreements would “make the UK’s immunization program sustainable” and protect “even more people in the years to come”.

Uncertainties remain about future health programs. Some experts have warned that Covid-19 will have to be kept at bay by repeated vaccination campaigns, while others said it was too early to say whether annual vaccine boosters will be needed.

Officials from the Department of Health and Social Affairs said the new contracts included access to modified vaccines if needed to fight Omicron and future worrisome variants.

The government has said it has sufficient doses of Moderna and Pfizer / BioNTech for the current expansion of the recall program.

Ministers said this week that all adults in the UK will be offered a booster before the end of January, amid growing concerns over the Omicron variant. Vaccination experts advising the government have expressed a preference for mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

Data from the trials suggest that booster doses are generally well tolerated and provide a substantial increase in immune responses induced by vaccine, in particular, and that mRNA vaccines provide a strong booster effect.

Javid said: ‘These new deals will help sustain the great Briton’s vaccination effort, who has so far provided over 115 million first, second and booster shots across the UK, and will ensure that we can protect even more people in the years to come.

“This is a national mission, and our best weapon in the fight against this virus and its variants is to get punches. So when you are called forward, get the jab and get boosted. “

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