The UK Government has signed a deal for a further 40 million doses of Valneva’s promising COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
The latest deal will bolster long-term vaccine production in the UK and brings the total UK vaccine portfolio to 407 million doses over the next two years.
The decision to purchase 40 million extra doses is based on the UK’s strategy to take a wide approach, using different technologies and viral targets to ensure the UK has the best chance of securing access to successful vaccines as quickly as possible. The UK Government has invested a multi-million sum in Valneva’s manufacturing facility in West Lothian, which began manufacturing vaccine doses last week.
Valneva’s coronavirus vaccine candidate is currently in phase I/II trials and will still need to meet the necessary safety and effectiveness standards and receive regulatory approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before it is rolled out at the end of the year.
However, if it is approved, manufacturing at risk now will mean that the UK can roll the vaccine out across the country quicker.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This latest deal is yet another weapon in our national arsenal against this terrible disease, and will ensure we have sufficient supplies to protect the British public in 2021 and beyond. Backed with major investment from the UK Government, Valneva’s site in Scotland will be a vaccine production powerhouse, working flat out to ensure we can quickly deploy jabs across the UK if their candidate is approved, while supporting top quality, local jobs.
“Thanks to our incredible UK Vaccine Taskforce, we have now secured a bumper portfolio of over 400 million vaccines, putting our country in an exceptionally strong position to defeat this virus once and for all.”