According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom is nearing 300,000. As of Monday morning, the number of infections stood at 296,358.
The United Kingdom has inked agreements with German company BioNTech, US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer, and French biotech entreprise Valneva to receive more than 90 million doses of “promising” coronavirus vaccines, the government announced in a press release on Monday.
According to the release, London also secured a deal with British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca for treatments containing COVID-19-neutralising antibodies for those who cannot be vaccinated.
“The hunt to find a vaccine is a truly global endeavour and we are doing everything we can to ensure the British public get access to a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible. This new partnership with some of the world’s foremost pharmaceutical and vaccine companies will ensure the UK has the best chance possible of securing a vaccine that protects those most at risk”, the press release quoted Business Secretary Alok Sharma as saying.
The secretary called on the public to participate in clinical trials to “speed up the search for a vaccine and end the pandemic sooner”. His calls have been echoed by Health Secretary Matt Hancock who said that members of the public have a vital role to play in defeating the coronavirus and returning to normalcy.
“Every volunteer will be doing their bit towards finding a vaccine for COVID-19 that will have the potential to save millions of lives around the world and bring this pandemic to an end”, Hancock said.
According to the release, the govenment hopes to to get 500,000 people signed up by October.