AstraZeneca expects to supply two million doses of the vaccine in total by next week, according to The Times, citing an unnamed member of the Oxford-AstraZeneca team. “The plan is then to build it up fairly rapidly – by the third week of January we should get to two million a week,” the report added.
The company was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment.
The report comes after Britain on Wednesday approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, hoping that rapid action will help it stem a record surge of infections driven by a highly contagious form of the virus.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered 100 million doses for the country as part of an agreement with the company. The company had said it aims to supply millions of doses in the first three months.
Britain, which has recorded more than 50,000 new daily cases of Covid-19 for the last four days, is dealing with a rapid spread of a much more infectious variant of the coronavirus. As of Friday, the UK has recorded 53,285 new coronavirus cases and 613 deaths.
Another vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech was given the green light in early December. Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed on Friday that it has already been given to nearly one million vulnerable people in the UK, including 786,000 in England, 92,000 in Scotland, 35,000 in Wales and 31,000 in Northern Ireland.