Britain has bought an extra 32 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine at ramped up prices for an autumn booster campaign.
The pharmaceutical giant has been criticised for increasing the amount it charges by a fifth from £18 to £22 a dose.
The latest UK purchase for £1 billion comes despite the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) not yet confirming that third jabs are necessary.
In comparison the AstraZeneca jab costs just over £2 per dose after the Oxford University scientists who developed it insisted it be sold without profit during the pandemic.
Last week vaccination experts advising the Government said that the offer of a jab should be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds after reviewing the latest data.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the “national achievement” of fully vaccinating 75% of all UK adults.
He said: “This is a huge national achievement, which we should all be proud of.
“It’s so important that those who haven’t been vaccinated come forward as soon as possible to book their jab – to protect themselves, protect their loved ones and allow us all to enjoy our freedoms safely.”
Meanwhile, the rate of infection is varying across Yorkshire – with some places saying an increase and some a decrease.
The rate is highest in Sheffield, where the latest data showed there is an infection rate of 474.4 cases per 100,000.