UK orders 60m extra doses of Pfizer vaccine for keeps till Autumn
London, April 29, 2021 (AltAfrica)-An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine have been ordered by the UK government as it puts together plans for a vaccination booster programme in the autumn.
It brings the total number of Pfizer doses ordered by the UK to 100 million.
These extra supplies are not about speeding up rollout now – they are an insurance policy ahead of next winter to ensure the UK has enough supplies to offer people a booster jab.
The expectation is that the most vulnerable groups will be offered another jab before next winter.
Nearly two-thirds of UK adults have received one dose of a Covid vaccine with a quarter having had two.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told a Downing Street briefing the booster programme would “keep us safe and free here while we get this disease under control across the world”.
The government said the additional Pfizer jabs will be used alongside other Covid vaccines for the booster programme.
It is one of three jabs authorised for use in the UK, alongside the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and one made by the US firm Moderna.
The announcement comes as new data from Public Health England showed that one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine reduces household transmission of the virus by up to half.
Mr Hancock said this was the “first concrete evidence” of how vaccines reduced the transmission of the virus.
A further 29 people have died within 28 days of a positive Covid test in the UK, according to the latest government figures, taking the total by that measure to 127,480.
A further 2,166 lab-confirmed cases were reported on Wednesday.