People wait to receive a dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic set up in Derby, England, on March 31.
People wait to receive a dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic set up in Derby, England, on March 31. Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The UK government has purchased another 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to support its booster program for the fall, the Department of Health announced on Wednesday.

“Our vaccination program is bringing back our freedom, but the biggest risk to that progress is the risk posed by a new variant,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a statement.

“We’re working on our plans for booster shots, which are the best way to keep us safe and free while we get this disease under control across the whole world.

“These further 60 million doses will be used, alongside others, as part of our booster program from later this year, so we can protect the progress that we’ve all made,” Hancock said.

Over a quarter of the UK’s population — 13,581,076 people — have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and more than 33 million people have received a first dose, according to figures from the Department of Health. 

In total, the UK has secured access to 517 million doses of eight Covid-19 vaccine candidates, however not all of these have yet been approved by the country’s medicines regulator (MHRA). Rolling reviews are underway by the MHRA to assess the Janssen and Novavax vaccines and clinical trials are ongoing for the Valneva, GSK and Sanofi and CureVac vaccines.

The details are as follows:  

  • Pfizer/BioNTech for 100 million doses, including the additional 60 million doses
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca for 100 million doses
  • Moderna for 17 million doses
  • Janssen for 30 million doses
  • Novavax for 60 million doses
  • Valneva for 100 million doses
  • GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi Pasteur for 60 million doses
  • CureVac for 50 million doses 

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