Covid vaccine drive gets £1.6billion to fight new mutant variants

The Sun

THE COVID-19 vaccination drive has been given a £1.6billion injection in a bid to test new jabs against mutant variants.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak today announced the boost in funding for the jab programme.

So far in the UK over 20.4 million Brits have received a first dose of either the Pfizer/BioNTech jab or the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine with over 840,000 having had their second.

This afternoon Mr Sunak said coronavirus was “still doing damage to the economy”.

He said the government would do “whatever it takes” to steer the economy through what he hopes will be the final months of coronavirus restrictions.

These themes are set to include “support, vision, recovery and honesty”.

Among pledges to extend the furlough scheme and a freeze on income tax, Mr Sunak revealed changes to other government priorities which have an impact on the health and wellbeing of the nation.

Also revealed as part of the budget this afternoon:

Push for jabs

There are currently two jabs being rolled out across the UK and many other versions on order.

Mr Sunak today to unveiled £1.6 billion of funding and as part of this push to get jabs rolled out to every adult in the UK by the end of July.

NHS chiefs say the jabs programme has been key to the rapid fall in infections, hospital admissions and deaths.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to speed up jabs for over-50s, with a completion target of April 15.

The funding will make sure enough jabs can be purchased and delivered in time.

Research for new variants

New variants mean more research needs to be done as to whether those vaccines already being rolled out are effective.

A further £33 million will be given to improve the ability to respond to new variants.

It comes after cases of both the South African and Brazilian variant were detected in the UK.

Matt Hancock yesterday said that it wasn’t clear how effective vaccines would be against the Brazilian variant as they hadn’t yet been studied against it.

He added that the variant had caused “challenges in the UK” and that experts were doing everything they could to stop the spread.

Plenty of choice

Mr Sunak has also given a £5 million grant given to create a so-called “library” of Covid jabs.

The research will also help establish if a third dose would be effective.

Both the Pfizer and Oxford jabs are already in circulation and a jab from Moderna could be available by next month.

Jabs from US firm Novavax, as well as vaccines from French company Valneva will be made in the UK.

One thought on “Covid vaccine drive gets £1.6billion to fight new mutant variants

  1. ‘Company Who Knew Asbestos Was in Its Baby Powder Now Distributing COVID-19 Vac’

    Guess who?

    But it’s “just a vaccine”, right, gang? Sponsored by a guy who wants to remove 5 or 6 bil’ from the planet – but suddenly wants to save everyone?

    lol….I’m now offering Free Rides to those who want the shot. We need to contribute to the reduction of such stupidity. It’s killing us all.

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