Government signs deal for 90 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccines

PUBLISHED: 10:17 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:32 20 July 2020

A scientist at work in a manufacturing laboratory where a vaccine against COVID-19 has been produced at the Oxford Vaccine Group's facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA.

A scientist at work in a manufacturing laboratory where a vaccine against COVID-19 has been produced at the Oxford Vaccine Group's facility at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

The government has signed deals for 90 million doses of promising Covid-19 vaccines, in addition to the 100 million doses of a vaccine being developed by Oxford Universiy.

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only continue to grow with your support.

The latest deal is for vaccines being developed by an alliance between the pharmaceutical giants BioNtech and Pfizer as well as the firm Valneva.

Kate Bingham, chairwoman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, said the goal of the taskforce was “to find vaccines for the UK, but also to ensure that any successful vaccine is distributed across the globe, so that anybody who is at risk of infection is vaccinated”.

She told Sky News: “We’re not pursuing a strategy of vaccine nationalism.

“We are recognising that this is a global pandemic and we need to ensure that the globe - and all those who need it - are vaccinated.”


Have your say

Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing letters@theneweuropean.co.uk and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.


The government is aiming to build a portfolio of potential vaccines, alongside effective treatments for coronavirus.

The latest announcement is for 30 million doses of a vaccine from BioNTech/Pfizer, 60 million doses from Valneva, with an option to acquire a further 40 million doses if needed.

If the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine is shown to work, regulatory review could be sought as early as October 2020, with up to 100 million doses potentially manufactured by the end of the year.

The government has also signed a deal with AstraZeneca for one million doses in principle of a treatment containing Covid-19 neutralising antibodies.

You may also want to watch:

This could protect those who cannot receive vaccines, such as people with cancer or whose immune system is severely compromised.

A new NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry has also been established with the aim of recruiting 500,000 volunteers by October to test new vaccines and treatments.

Bingham said: “The Vaccine Taskforce is investing in a diverse portfolio of vaccine candidates to maximise the chances of finding a vaccine quickly that meets the UK’s rigorous regulatory and safety standards.

“The fact that we have so many promising candidates already shows the unprecedented pace at which we are moving.

“But I urge against being complacent or over-optimistic.

“The fact remains we may never get a vaccine and if we do get one, we have to be prepared that it may not be a vaccine which prevents getting the virus, but rather one that reduces symptoms.”

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “The hunt to find a vaccine is a truly global endeavour and we are doing everything we can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible.

“This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk.

“The public can also play their part in vaccine research through the new NHS vaccine research register.

“By signing up and participating in important clinical studies, together we can speed up the search for a vaccine and end the pandemic sooner.”

Become a Supporter

Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £20

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest pro-European campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.