- South Korea to send 100,000 Covid jobs to UK by end of this year
- This comes after Britain said it would swap 4 million Pfizer jabs to Australia
- Both countries have faced anemic roll outs affected by regular supply problems.
Britain will provide one million additional doses of the Pfizer COVID vaccine to South Korea to enhance the country’s roll-out, it was announced today.
Health Department officials acknowledged today that there was no ‘urgent need’ for additional jobs in the UK.
Officials insist the deal – which will give South Korea one million jabs back to Britain by the end of the year – will not derail the booster drive or the roll-out for 12- to 15-year-olds.
The deal comes two weeks after a similar swap agreement was signed by Britain to send four million Pfizer jabs to Australia.
Both South Korea and Australia have struggled with their vaccination programs due to delayed deliveries and failure to secure enough jabs early.
Neither is more than 50 percent of its adults fully vaccinated. For comparison, the UK gives two doses to about eight in ten – or 44 million people – over ten.
Britain has ordered more than 500 million COVID vaccines, enough to quadruple the population.
According to the supply agreements, the UK will receive 100 million doses of Pfizer by the end of this year. Around 40m vaccines made by the US giant and its German partner firm BioNTech have already been produced.
How LLAMAS are helping in the fight against Covid
Research suggests that small antibodies produced by llamas may help in the fight against COVID.
And scientists say the virus-fighting proteins could be given as a nasal spray to infected people.
Academics from the Rosalind Franklin Institute in Oxfordshire found that nanobodies – a small type of antibody produced by llamas and camels – can effectively target the type of coronavirus that causes Covid.
The short chains of nanobodies significantly reduced disease symptoms when given to infected animals.
Scientists say the nanobodies, which can easily be mass-produced in the laboratory, could provide a cheap and easy alternative to human antibodies.
During the pandemic, antibodies have been received from survivors to help critically ill patients fight off the virus.
But they usually need to be administered by a medical injection in a hospital.
Professor Miles Carroll, deputy director of the National Infection Service at Public Health England, said the research has great potential.
The UK will send one million doses of Pfizer to South Korea in a ‘vaccine swap’ announced today, with the first shipment set to depart in the coming weeks.
The Asian nation will return the same dose of Pfizer later this year.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the deal would have no impact on Britain’s vaccine programme.
“Working closely with our friends in South Korea, this vaccine swap will maximize their rollout speed without impacting the UK’s vaccine program,” he said.
‘Separately, we continue to fulfill our commitment to donate 100 million doses to countries around the world by June 2022 to ensure that more people around the world are protected from COVID.’
Newly appointed Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: ‘The UK is taking a leading role in the global response to the COVID pandemic – donating 100 million vaccine doses worldwide and committing £548m to COVAX.
‘The Republic of Korea is a strategic partner for the UK and the sharing of one million vaccines benefits both countries as we help build resistance against COVID and save lives.’
Ms Truss was appointed foreign secretary in a cabinet reshuffle last week, taking over from Dominic Raab after criticism of Britain’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Britain is set to receive 100 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of this year, and has another 35 million on order in the second half of 2022.
At the height of the vaccination campaign at the end of April, Britain was conducting around 500,000 Covid jobs a day.
But recently the vaccination campaign has slowed – fewer than 80,000 doses are being given daily – as most Britons have received the vaccine.
The drive has expanded to phase out booster shots, but MailOnline analysis showed that only about 2 million people are currently eligible.
The third dose should be given only six months after the second dose, the government’s vaccine advisors have said.
Children 12 to 15 years of age are also now advised to take a single dose of Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine.
Less than 50 percent of adults in South Korea have received two doses of the vaccine, while in Australia only 36.4 percent are fully vaccinated.
South Korea’s vaccination efforts were hampered by routine shipment delays, creating uncertainty over the country’s supplies.
Authorities in Australia bet on a home-grown COVID vaccine that failed during clinical trials.
The first consignment of 292,000 COVID vaccines has already been sent to Australia, with more deliveries scheduled.
The country’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, said the first dose was ‘on the tarmac’ when he announced the deal in early September.