The UK said on Monday it had partnered with Indian drugmaker Wockhardt to boost COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and hopes the firm's could start work as soon as next month.

The agreement would see Wockhardt carry out the ‘fill and finish’ stage of the manufacturing process, which involves dispensing the manufactured vaccine substance into vials ready for it to be distributed.

“Today we have secured additional capacity to manufacture millions of doses of multiple COVID-19 candidates, guaranteeing the supply of vaccines we need to protect people across the UK rapidly and in large numbers,” said British business minister Alok Sharma in a statement.