Downing Street have signed a deal for 90m potential coronavirus vaccines, which are being developed by an alliance between the pharmaceutical giants BioNtech and Pfizer as well as the firm Valneva.
This is in addition to 100m doses being developed by Oxford University with AstraZeneca.
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.”
Speaking to Sky News, Bingham said, “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.”
She added, “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.”