The UK government has signed a fourth coronavirus vaccine deal, securing up to 60 million doses of an experimental treatment being developed by drug giants GSK and Sanofi.
The government has already signed up for 100 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca.
It has also secured another 90 million doses of two other promising vaccines.
However, it is still uncertain which, if any, of the vaccines may work.
Governments around the world have pledged billions of dollars for a Covid-19 vaccine and a number of pharmaceutical firms are in a race to develop and test potential drugs.
The vaccine involved in the latest government deal, developed by Sanofi in partnership with GSK, is based on the recombinant protein-based technology used by Sanofi to produce a flu vaccine, as well as GSK’s established pandemic technology.
Sanofi, which is leading the clinical development, said regulatory approval could be achieved by the first half of 2021 if trials were successful.
In the meantime, Sanofi and GSK are scaling up manufacturing to produce up to one billion doses a year overall.
The vaccine has already been at the centre of an international political storm after Sanofi rowed back on an apparent promise to prioritise the US market.
Sanofi chief executive Paul Hudson sparked a row in May by saying the US government had “the right to the largest pre-order because it’s invested in taking the risk”.
But he changed his view after then French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe responded by saying access for all was “non-negotiable”.
In their latest announcement, GSK and Sanofi stressed that they were “committed to making the vaccine available globally”.
“With our partner GSK, we are pleased to co-operate with the UK government as well as several other countries and global organisations as part of our ongoing efforts to develop a safe and effective vaccine and make it available as quickly as possible,” said Thomas Triomphe, executive vice-president and global head of Sanofi Pasteur.
Roger Connor, president of GSK Vaccines, added: “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.”
UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “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.”
Kate Bingham, who chairs the UK government’s Vaccines Taskforce, said: “This diversity of vaccine types is important because we do not yet know which, if any, of the different types of vaccine will prove to generate a safe and protective response to Covid-19.
“Whilst this agreement is very good news, we mustn’t be complacent or over-optimistic.”
- Photos of Kamala Harris visit to Ghana
- Mobile Money transactions in only 2 months of 2023 hit ¢264.1bn
- Speculation that NDC imposed its decision on Minority Caucus is untrue – Sammy Gyamfi
- We would all have sworn to Antoa if my dad was alive – Zanetor Rawlings
- Ghana records $752.8m trade surplus in first 2 months of 2023
- We’re committed to helping Ghana resolve current economic crisis – China assures
- T-Bills auction: sales undersubscribed by 23%; interest rates remain stable
- What an honour it is to be here in Ghana – Kamala Harris
- Popular American filmmaker Spike Lee is in Ghana
- Playback: Kamala Harris meets Akufo-Addo
- I don’t know – Akufo-Addo on presence or otherwise of Al-Qaeda troops in Ghana
- Black kids in England 6 times more likely to be strip-searched by police
- Debt servicing relief: China pledges to support Ghana
- U.S government to send resident advisor to help Ghana attain debt sustainability
- The Texas preacher’s $24m Ponzi scheme
- Ghanaian Farmer TV host attends Climate Change and Agriculture Conference in South Africa
- Elon Musk: Twitter says parts of source code leaked online
- Kamala Harris urges Ghana’s creditors to help meet debt obligation amid IMF talks
- Prince Harry and Elton John appear at High Court in Associated Newspapers hearing
- The 3 MPs who missed out on voting during approval of ministerial nominees
- AMA engineer calls for ban on single-use plastics
- NDC flagbearership race: ‘I’ll bring discipline back into finances’ – Mahama says after vetting
- I am coming with a new energy and force – Ho Central Constituency MP aspirant
- Seth Kunkpe: Nigeria’s snail pace to democratic maturity
- German government supports training of returned migrants