Britain has ordered 35 million more doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to prepare for booster shots and to counter any new variants.
“While we continue to build this wall of defence from Covid-19, it’s also vital we do everything we can to protect the country for the future too – whether that’s from the virus as we know it or new variants,” said health minister Sajid Javid.
“I am pleased we’ve reached this agreement with Pfizer for more doses as part of our robust preparations to future-proof our vaccine programme, ensuring we have plans in place to keep the nation safe for years to come,” he added.
The government has yet to decide on a potential rollout of third doses, but could begin a booster programme in early September, alongside the flu jab.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is still assessing the data on whether boosters will be needed and which groups might need them most.
Britain has been one of the countries worst hit by the virus, recording over 131,000 deaths, but has embarked on a successful vaccination programme that is credited with saving around 95,000 lives, according to the latest data from Public Health England and the University of Cambridge.
Britain had already ordered 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, making it the country’s second most used jab, after the AstraZeneca shot.