UK health secretary promises to help other countries get COVID-19 vaccine after ordering too many

UK health secretary promises to help other countries get COVID-19 vaccine after ordering too many
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The United Kingdom's Secretary of Health has claimed the country will help "the whole world" get vaccinated against COVID-19 after they ordered enough vaccine doses for three times their population.

Matt Hancock made the comments during a press conference at Downing Street on Monday evening (local time).

The UK has recently ordered 400 million doses of the Valneva vaccine which are expected to begin being delivered in late 2021.

"This is obviously more than the UK population needs," Hancock told reporters.

"My attitude has always been we protect every UK citizen as fast as we can, and at the same time, we're generous around the world.

"I want to say this to our international partners; of course, I'm delighted at how well this is going at home, but I believe fundamentally that the vaccine rollout is a global effort."

He said the government "will protect UK supply and we'll play our part to ensure the whole world can get the jab", the Guardian reported.

The vaccine deal is expected to bolster the country's long-term production in Scotland and give the UK access to 407 million doses over the next two years.

"The decision to purchase 40 million extra doses is based on the UK’s strategy to take a wide approach, using different technologies and viral targets to ensure the UK has the best chance of securing access to successful vaccines as quickly as possible," the government said in a statement. "It will also give the UK future flexibility should we need to revaccinate any of the population."

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng called the vaccine deal "another weapon in our national arsenal against this terrible disease".

"Valneva's site in Scotland will be a vaccine production powerhouse, working flat out to ensure we can quickly deploy jabs across the UK if their candidate is approved, while supporting top quality, local jobs."

The UK recorded a record number of vaccinations on Monday, bringing the total vaccinated to almost 9.3 million.

Sky News AU reported that a total of 9,296,367 first vaccination doses have now been given while they have also administered 494,209 second vaccine doses.

More than 900,000 people were vaccinated over the weekend.

"Getting vaccinated is an emotional moment for so many people because it's about protecting those who are most vulnerable to COVID," Hancock said.

"We have now vaccinated nine in 10 of all over-80s in the Uk. Now as of today we have vaccinated over half of all in their 70s."