UK Now Close To Get Supply Deal For Another Coronavirus Vaccine

The United Kingdom is currently among the top 10 most affected countries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 286,000 confirmed cases. But the country may soon get an advantage in the global battle since the government has moved forward in getting a coronavirus vaccine. 

The U.K. recently made progress in an estimated $624 million deal to buy the vaccine from partners Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline. The country hopes to get 60 million doses for its citizens, the Sunday Times reported.

However, the potential COVID-19 vaccine is still under development. Sanofi previously said it hopes to begin clinical trials in September.

If the U.K. secures a supply deal with Sanofi/GSK, the country would have its second vaccine. The British government earlier announced it would buy 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

“The government’s Vaccines Task Force is actively engaging with a wide range of companies both in the U.K. and abroad to negotiate access to vaccines,” a spokeswoman for Britain’s business ministry, said as quoted by Reuters.

French pharmaceutical company Sanofi has launched two studies to create coronavirus vaccines. One study uses an adjuvant made by GSK to improve its efficacy.

The companies did not provide further details about the deal. But the partnership said quality will remain as a top priority over speed in developing their vaccine.

The Sanofi/GSK study shares a timeline for clinical trials far different from the plans of other vaccine makers Moderna, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca team and an alliance of BioNTech and Pfizer. Many of those teams have already moved to human trials.

But once ready, Sanofi said it could produce up to 1 billion doses of the vaccine for COVID-19 a year. But the U.K. is not the only country that hopes to get the first batch of the vaccines. 

The U.S. has provided financial backing to the company to support the vaccine trials. The European Union also announced plans to seek a deal with Sanofi and has invited Britain to join the vaccine supply deal.

There are currently more than 100 vaccines being developed and tested around the world. Health experts said one vaccine would be the key to end the fight against the novel coronavirus that has already affected more than 11 million people.

COVID-19 Vaccine studies There are currently more than 100 vaccines for COVID-19 being developed and tested around the world. Pixabay

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