The UK Government has today, Monday 1st February, signed a deal for a further 40 million doses of Valneva’s promising vaccine candidate. The deal takes the total number of Valneva vaccines to 100 million and means that the UK has now secured early access to over 400 million total doses of vaccines for 2021 and 2022.
The 100 million doses of Valneva vaccine will be manufactured at Valneva’s site in West Lothian, Scotland, supporting 100 highly-skilled jobs.
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. It will also give the UK future flexibility should we need to revaccinate any of the population.
The UK Government has invested a multi-million sum in Valneva’s manufacturing facility in West Lothian, which began manufacturing vaccine doses last week and is already raising Scotland’s profile in the international fight against Covid-19.
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, it will mean that the UK can roll vaccinations out across the country even quicker.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng commented, “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.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said, “This deal provides a further boost to the UK’s already-strong vaccine portfolio, and I am enormously proud of all the work which has gone in to securing a vaccine for the UK as soon as possible. If approved, Valneva’s vaccine will not only help tackle Covid-19 here in the UK, but aid our mission to ensure there is a fair supply of vaccines across the globe.”
Valneva’s Livingston site will have the capacity to produce up to 250 million doses annually for shipment across the UK and around the world. If it is approved, 60 million doses could start to be delivered to the UK by the second half of 2021, with the remaining 40 million being delivered in 2022.