British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday he could not promise there would be successful vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the end of this year, saying "we're not there yet" even as Britain lines up supplies.
"To say that I'm 100% confident that we'll get a vaccine, this year or indeed next year, is alas, just an exaggeration. We're not there yet," Johnson said after Britain announced supply deals for two more vaccines under development.
British officials say they have signed a deal to buy 90 million doses of experimental coronavirus vaccines being developed by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and others.
The British government said in a statement Monday that it had secured access to a vaccine candidate being developed by a Pfizer and BioNTech, in addition to another experimental vaccine researched by Valneva. Britain had previously signed a deal with AstraZeneca to provide 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine being tested by Oxford University, which is expected to announce further results later Monday.
``Millions of people could be vaccinated against coronavirus,'' the government statement said, citing the three different vaccines it has now invested in.
Although it is still unclear which if any of the vaccines will ultimately prove effective against the virus, Britain and other rich countries are already investing in the vaccines to ensure there is enough manufacturing capacity to deliver any successful candidate. Vaccines typically take years to develop and more than a dozen are in the early stages of testing globally.