Another two million doses of a coronavirus vaccine which trials suggest is 95% effective have been secured by the Government.
It brings the total number of jabs on order from the US firm Moderna to seven million – enough for around 3.5 million people in the UK.
The vaccine has yet to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but doses could begin being delivered next spring if it meets the standards.
Interim data suggests the jab is highly effective in preventing people getting ill and may work across all age groups, including the elderly.
The UK has placed orders for 100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine – enough to vaccinate most of the population – with roll-out expected in the coming weeks if the jab is approved by the MHRA.
It also has orders for 40 million doses of the jab from Pfizer and BioNTech, which has been shown to be 95% effective.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: “Every week, we are getting more positive news about the range of vaccines in development, and thanks to the work of our taskforce the UK has pre-ordered more hundreds of millions of doses from those companies most advanced in their work.
“This includes buying a further two million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, on top of the five million we’ve already secured.
“With a wide range of vaccine candidates in our portfolio, we stand ready to deploy a vaccine should they receive approval from our medicines regulator, starting with those who will benefit most.”