calendar Thursday, 20 January 2022 clock
  • qbook

LONDON: Britain said on Wednesday it had agreed deals to buy 114 million more Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccine shots, saying it had sped up signing the new contracts in light of the emergence of the new Omicron variant.

The deal involves an additional 60 million Moderna shots and 54 million Pfizer doses for next year and 2023 and will also include access to any modified vaccinations if they are needed to combat the Omicron strain or any other variant, the British health ministry said.

Sajid Javid

“These new deals will future proof the Great British vaccination effort – which has so far delivered more than 115 million first, second and booster jabs across the UK – and will ensure we can protect even more people in the years ahead,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.

So far, nearly 51 million people in Britain have received their first Covid vaccine – almost 89 per cent of the population aged over 12, more than 46 million have had two doses and some 18.6 million have received a booster shot.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new target this week to offer all adults a vaccine booster by the end of January, which means speeding up the rollout by an extra million doses a week.

So far 32 cases of the heavily mutated Omicron variant, which it is feared could be more transmissible, have been identified in Britain which has sparked the government into ramping out the vaccine programme.

Britain has made it mandatory to wear masks on public transport and shops, but Johnson and his ministers hope the booster programme will mean there will be no need for further restrictions or measures to curb social gatherings.

  • Qbook
  • qshow