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Written by on 20th July 2020


The UK Government has secured early access to 90 million vaccine doses from the BioNtech/Pfizer alliance and Valneva with more in the pipeline as part of its strategy to build a portfolio of promising new vaccines to protect the UK from Covid-19. In addition, treatments containing Covid-19 neutralising antibodies have been secured from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines

UK public encouraged to sign up to a new NHS website to make it quicker and easier for potential volunteers to join vital studies that could help save lives – the is to aim get 500,000 people signed up by October

Announced by Business Secretary Alok Sharma today (Monday 20 July), the Government has agreed significant partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and vaccine companies BioNtech/Pfizer and Valneva that are developing innovative new vaccines to protect people against Covid-19. The Government has also secured access to treatments containing Covid-19 neutralising antibodies from AstraZeneca to protect those who cannot receive vaccines such as cancer and immunocompromised patients.

As a result of these partnerships, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland could have access to enough doses to vaccinate and protect priority groups identified, such as frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk.

With today’s announcement, the Government has now secured access to three different types of Covid-19 vaccines that are being developed here and around the world, giving the UK the most likely chance of getting access to a safe and effective vaccine at the quickest speed.

To ensure a Covid-19 vaccine is available as soon as possible, the Government has also today launched the NHS Covid-19 vaccine research registry. This new website will enable people in the UK to play their part by volunteering for future vaccine studies.

The new online service will allow members of the public to register their interest and be contacted to participate in clinical studies. To enable large-scale vaccine studies to take place across the UK, the aim is to get 500,000 people signed up by October, which is considered vital in the fight against coronavirus.

Clinical studies with hundreds of thousands of volunteers will help scientists and researchers better understand the effectiveness of each vaccine candidate and will considerably speed up efforts to discover a safe and workable vaccine.

The Government is also working with ZOE, the health science company using data driven research and behind the popular symptom study app and site, to look at collaborating around vaccine studies and to help their volunteers hear about how to sign up to the NHS registry.