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Britain buys 90 million doses of coronavirus vaccines

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BRITAIN has ordered another 90million dose of experimental coronavirus vaccines in support of efforts by pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson and Novavax.

  If all the vaccines pre-ordered by the UK are successful and go into production the country will have a massive stockpile of 340million jabs – enough to give every person in the country five each.

  As part of the new deals with the US-based drug companies, officials will fund clinical trials of the jabs in Britain.

Britain’s ‘buy first, test later’ approach may be its best chance of getting a working jab, said the Vaccine Taskforce chief, who admitted most of the Covid-19 jabs won’t work.

  If they are proven to work they could be given to members of the public as soon as the middle of next year. It is not clear how much money the UK has spent on the deals.

  The global race for a vaccine – seen as the only viable way to stop the coronavirus – has received promising boosts in recent weeks as early trial results have emerged.

  The first clinical trial of one of the UK’s biggest hopes, a jab made by Oxford University, showed signs that it produces an immune response and is safe.

  News of Britain’s latest deal comes after Russia this week announced that it has approved its own vaccine after trials on just three dozen people, provoking concern from scientists that it is rushing into experiments without data to prove it is safe.

  The deals with Janssen Pharmaceuticals – which is owned by Johnson & Johnson – and Novavax are the latest in a string of agreements the British Government has made to get its hands on a vaccine.

  Companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Valneva have all also received orders for their jabs.

Officials are taking a spread-betting approach ordering stacks of numerous types of jab in the hope that at least one of them will work.

  Deals for a total 340million doses have so far been announced for the nation, which has a population of around 67million people.

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