Northern Ireland is expected to receive up to 4.3 million doses of two coronavirus vaccines once they receive official authorisation, the Department of Health has said.
The country will take 2.85% of the total amount that eventually becomes available to the UK – in line with the formula dividing resources.
The department added: “Currently two of the leading vaccines, Pfizer and AstraZeneca, have completed their final phase 3 trials and will now be seeking authorisation from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).
“Both of these vaccines may therefore be authorised and available for use in the UK by the end of December.
“In addition to the 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Northern Ireland is also expected to receive up to 2,850,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
At present the UK has secured access to seven vaccine candidates which could potentially result in 355 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines being made available in the UK, subject to them passing the required safety and efficacy tests.
The vaccines are broken down as:
– BioNTech/ Pfizer/Imperial, (40 million doses)
– AstraZeneca/ Oxford, (100 million doses)
– Janssen, (30 million doses)
– Valneva, (60 million doses)
– GSK/Sanofi (60 million doses)
– Novavax (60 million doses)
– Moderna (5 million doses).
On Thursday, the vaccine team at the University of Oxford said it had been shown to trigger a robust immune response in healthy adults aged 56-69 and in those over 70 years of age.
The data, published in The Lancet, suggested that one of the groups most vulnerable to serious illness, and death from Covid-19, could build immunity.