London, Apr 29: An further 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured to assist assist a booster Covid-19 vaccination programme starting from the autumn months later within the 12 months, the UK authorities stated on Wednesday.
During a Downing Street briefing the place he made that announcement, UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock was questioned about sending vaccines to India because it battles an enormous second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and faces vaccine shortages.
“We currently have no excess doses, we are doing what we can… but we work very closely with India on vaccine production,” the minister stated, including that the UK had ensured at-cost provide of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines to the Serum Institute of India, which is manufacturing a number of the largest variety of doses of the jabs on the planet by “benefitting from British science”.
“That is the biggest contribution we can make,” Hancock stated.
At the briefing, he laid out preparations by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for a “booster programme” primarily based on medical want to make sure folks have the strongest attainable safety towards Covid-19.
The extra Pfizer/BioNTech jabs, as a ahead manufacturing order, can be used alongside different authorized Covid-19 vaccines for the booster programme.
“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,” stated Hancock.
“Our vaccination programme is bringing back our freedom, but the biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant. 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,” he stated.
The authorities stated it has already hit its goal of providing all these aged 50 and over, the clinically susceptible and well being and social care employees a primary dose of the vaccine by April 15 and stays on observe to supply a jab to all adults by the top of July.
This week these cohorts had been expanded to over-42s and 42-year-old Hancock stated he’s booked with the National Health Service (NHS) to get his first dose on Thursday.
According to official information, well being providers throughout the UK have now administered a complete of 47,540,984 million vaccines between 8 December and 27 April, together with 33,959,908 million folks with their first dose (64.5 per cent of all adults) and 13,581,076 million with their second (25.Eight per cent of all adults).
“Our brilliant Vaccines Taskforce has secured an extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines to support our booster programme, which will be developed in line with the advice of our experts,” stated Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Ben Osborn, Country Manager at Pfizer UK, added: “By more than doubling our supply commitment to the UK, we are delighted to support the ongoing rollout of the UK immunisation programme and help the government in its efforts to address the pandemic.
“Along with our accomplice BioNTech, we’re working relentlessly to assist vaccination campaigns worldwide and, primarily based on present projections, imagine we are able to ship greater than 2.5 billion doses of our vaccine globally by the top of 2021.”
The authorities stated it would publish additional particulars on the booster programme sooner or later and the ultimate coverage can be knowledgeable by recommendation from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) and the outcomes of medical trials learning the usage of completely different combos of authorized Covid-19 vaccines.
The DHSC pointed to information from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Oxford University which exhibits that Covid-19 infections fell considerably by 65 per cent after the primary dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, rising additional after the second dose.
Data from Public Health England’s real-world examine exhibits the vaccines are already having a major affect within the UK, lowering hospitalisations and deaths, saving greater than 10,000 lives between December and March.