Government secures 60 million doses of a potentially lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine

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A deal to secure early access to a promising new coronavirus vaccine has been announced by the government today, enhancing the UK’s growing portfolio of vaccine candidates to protect the public and to save lives.

The agreement with GSK and Sanofi Pasteur, which combined have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world, will supply the UK with 60 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, which is based on existing DNA-based technology used to produce Sanofi’s flu vaccine.

If the GSK and Sanofi vaccine candidate is proven effective in human studies, the UK could be able to vaccinate priority groups, such as frontline health and social care workers and those at increased health risk, as soon as summer 2021. Human clinical studies of the vaccine will begin in September followed by a Phase 3 study in December 2020.

With today’s announcement, the government has now secured early access to 4 different types of immunisation and a total of 250 million doses, giving the UK the most likely chance of finding a safe and effective vaccine at the quickest speed.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Our scientists and researchers are racing to find a safe and effective vaccine at a speed and scale never seen before. While this progress is truly remarkable, the fact remains that there are no guarantees. In the meantime, it is important that we secure early access to a diverse range of promising vaccine candidates, like GSK and Sanofi, to increase our chances of finding one that works so we can protect the public and save lives.”

Thomas Triomphe, Executive Vice President and Global Head of Sanofi Pasteur said: “With our partner GSK, we are pleased to cooperate with the UK government as well as several other countries and global organizations as part of our ongoing efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine and make it available as quickly as possible. We greatly appreciate the UK government’s support of this shared vision.”

Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines added: “We believe that this adjuvanted vaccine candidate has the potential to play a significant role in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the UK and around the world. We thank the UK Government for confirmation of purchasing intent, which supports the significant investment we are already making as a company to scale up development and production of this vaccine.”

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