Coronavirus: Vaccination

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 16th June 2021.

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Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what diplomatic steps the Government is taking to support the development of covid-19 vaccines (a) in the UK and (b) throughout the world.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Government has worked at pace to find safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. We have supported the development of COVID-19 vaccines in the UK through a number of investments, including:

  • £20 million to fund clinical trials of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Over £40 million for the development of Imperial College London’s vaccine.
  • £33.6 million for the Human Challenge Programme.
  • £22 million for a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines. This will also fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19.

The Government has also funded the NHS Registry, developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), to enable individuals to sign up to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials. This has made the UK well-suited to facilitate clinical trials that are essential to the development of any vaccine. As of 9 June 2021, over 502,000 people had signed up.

The UK has also joined COVAX, an international initiative to support the discovery, manufacture, and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world. This includes contributing £548 million, as one of the largest donors, to the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, which has already helped over 72 low- and middle-income countries to receive vaccine doses.

In addition to this, the Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to this pandemic, as well as any future pandemics.

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