UK says talking to pharma companies about early access to modified vaccines

·1-min read
COVID-19 vaccinations in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is talking to pharmaceutical firms to ensure it is at the front of the queue to receive COVID-19 vaccines that have been modified to deal with new variants of the virus, should that become necessary, the health minister said on Tuesday.

"We have confidence that modifications to vaccines, should they be necessary in large scale, will be available more quickly than the original vaccines," Matt Hancock said in parliament.

"And just as we did first time round, when we got in there early and we bought at risk, so we are having exactly the same conversations right now with the pharmaceutical companies to make sure that we are right at the front of this one."

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge, Kate Holton and Paul Sandle, writing by Estelle Shirbon; editing by Alistair Smout)