The latest deal marks the fifth time the British Government has secured a deal for a promising COVID-19 vaccine, and by far, the country has acquired up to 250 million vaccine doses, which makes it one of the frontrunners in the global race to obtain the safest and most powerful COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is based on technology Sanofi developed to produce an influenza vaccine.
"Governments must put their focus on how to work with the WHO to avoid a future scenario in which there is starkly unequal access to a vaccine across the world and where healthcare workers in the poorest communities are left unprotected", he added.
Two sources told Reuters that negotiations stalled because the company wanted to secure an upfront payment for the entire stock while the European Union would rather delay payments until the vaccine has passed large clinical trials.
The government said that if the vaccine proves successful, then priority groups, such as health and social care workers, could be given the first doses as early as the first half of next year.
The vaccine candidate "has the potential to play a significant role in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the United Kingdom and around the world", said GSK Vaccines President Roger Connor. Phase 1 and 2 studies are expected to begin in September and Phase 3 to commence by the end of the year. If the data is positive, sample approval could be achieved by the first half of 2021.
Through this agreement with GSK and Sanofi, the Vaccine Taskforce can add another type of vaccine to the three different types of vaccine we have already secured.
"We thank the Uk Authorities for confirmation of purchasing intent, which supports the major expenditure we are already producing as a corporation to scale up enhancement and generation of this vaccine". Whilst this agreement is very good news, we mustn't be complacent or over optimistic.
"The point stays we may perhaps under no circumstances get a vaccine and, if we do get one particular, we have to be well prepared that it may well not be a vaccine which helps prevent acquiring the virus, but rather just one that decreases signs and symptoms".
The U.K. government is now in talks with the USA government, the EU Commission, and several other global organizations regarding the worldwide supply of the new vaccine.
JOEL SAGET/AFP A filling operator wearing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), works in front of an isolator to fill syringes in a sterile area, at a French pharmaceutical company Sanofi's world distribution centre in Val-de-Reuil on July 10, 2020.
MSF Access Campaign's Roz Scourse said "This "Britain first" approach is blatant vaccine nationalism and completely undermines global co-ordination and collaboration efforts led by the WHO (World Health Organisation) to ensure global equitable allocation".
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