Britain has sought access to 90 million doses of potential coronavirus vaccines through partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. The UK will now have access to three different types of vaccines being developed domestically and globally, UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said on Monday. The country has also launched a website for volunteers to sign up for vaccine studies, he added. The deals have been secured with BioNTech, Pfizer and Valneva.
"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," said Sharma.
The deals involve 30 million doses of a vaccine being developed by BioNTech and German firm Pfizer, and 60 million doses of another created by France's Valneva. The UK government has already announced that it would purchase 100 million doses of a vaccine currently being trialed by Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca. The UK has 296,358 coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, the overall number of global coronavirus cases has increased to over 14.4 million, while the deaths have topped to more than 605,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. As of Monday, the total number of cases stood at 14,448,751, while the fatalities rose to 605,116, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 3,768,055 and 140,500, respectively, according to the CSSE.Also read: 2,426 firms 'looted' Rs 1.47 lakh crore from banks; will govt investigate, asks Rahul Gandhi