The UK has agreed to buy 35 million more doses to prepare for booster shots and to counter any new variants, but the head of the WHO has said booster vaccines should be delayed to raise global inoculation rates.
It comes as the government prepares to roll out booster shots from next month – while the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said such shots should be delayed to raise vaccination rates globally.
The coronavirus vaccines, which will be delivered from the second half of next year, will also help the country prepare for any new variants that could emerge.
“While we continue to build this wall of defence from COVID-19, it’s also vital we do everything we can to protect the country for the future too – whether that’s from the virus as we know it or new variants,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid said.
“I am pleased we’ve reached this agreement with Pfizer for more doses as part of our robust preparations to future-proof our vaccine programme, ensuring we have plans in place to keep the nation safe for years to come.”
Some 95,200 lives have been saved by COVID-19 vaccines, according to the latest data from Public Health England and Cambridge University. They have prevented 82,100 hospitalisations and 23.9 million infections in England alone.
Read More: UK orders 35 million more doses of Pfizer vaccine as it prepares for booster shots