In a joint effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea have reportedly inked a vaccine swap agreement for ensuing the sufficient supply of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses in each nation.
Under the deal, the UK will send more than 1 million BioNTech/Pfizer vaccines to the Republic of Korea for enhancing their vaccination program. The first batch is anticipated to arrive in the forthcoming weeks.
By the end of the year, South Korea will be returning the same volume of doses to the United Kingdom, as the government advances with its vaccine launch and the booster program through the winter months.
According to Sajid Javid, UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary, by working in close collaboration with friends in the Republic of Korea, the vaccine swap will be maximizing the speed of jab rollout without having an effect on the UK’s vaccine program.
Javid further added that the government continues to deliver on its commitment towards the donation of 100 million doses to countries worldwide by June 2022 for ensuring that as many people around the globe are as safe as possible from SARS-CoV-2.
As per reliable sources, almost 90% of the people over the age of 16 in the United Kingdom have secured one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Therefore, there will be no effect on the UK’s ongoing SARS-CoV-2 vaccine rollout or booster programs on account of the dose sharing initiative. This is also expected to have no impact on the doses that have been already pledged to be provided to COVAX.
The swap announcement reportedly comes after the donation of 10.3 million COVID-19 vaccines by the UK to other nations. These also include a figure of 6.2 million vaccines that have been given to vulnerable nations via COVAX. The doses formed part of the 100 million vaccines that the Prime Minister pledged the United Kingdom would be sharing over the upcoming year at June’s G7 in Cornwall.