The UK Government has agreed a deal for 60 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine.
If the candidate – developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur – is proven effective, frontline health and social care workers, and those at increased risk, could be vaccinated as soon as next summer.
Human clinical studies of the vaccine will begin in September followed by a final study in December.
Business secretary Alok Sharma said: “Our scientists and researchers are racing to find a safe and effective vaccine at a speed and scale never seen before. While this progress is truly remarkable, the fact remains that there are no guarantees.
“In the meantime, 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.”
The government has now signed deals for four different types of potential coronavirus vaccines.
Earlier this month, a deal was struck in principle between the government and Valneva to manufacture a vaccine candidate in Livingston.
It could see up to 100 million does of a potential Covid-19 vaccine made at the facility.