- Deal means the UK has now secured early access to over 400 million total doses of vaccines for 2021 and 2022
- 100 million doses of Valneva vaccine have now been secured
- UK Government boosts Scotland vaccine production powerhouse at Valnevas site in West Lothian, supporting 100 highly-skilled jobs
The UK Government has today (Monday 1 February) signed a deal for a further 40 million doses of Valnevas promising vaccine candidate.
The latest deal will bolster long-term vaccine production in Scotland 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 UKs 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 Valnevas manufacturing facility in West Lothian, which began manufacturing vaccine doses last week and is already raising Scotlands profile in the international fight against Covid-19.
The site is already supporting 100 new highly-skilled local jobs for scientists and technicians.
Valnevas 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 andbeyond.
Backed with major investment from the UK Government, Valnevas site in Scotland will bea vaccine production powerhouse, working flat out to ensure we can quickly deploy jabsacross 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 portfolioof over 400 million vaccines, putting our country in an exceptionally strong position todefeat this virus once and for all.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
This deal provides a further boost to the UKs already-strong vaccine portfolio, and I amenormously proud of all the work which has gone in to securing a vaccine for the UK assoon as possible.
If approved, Valnevas vaccine will not only help tackle Covid-19 here in the UK, but aid ourmission to ensure there is a fair supply of vaccines across the globe.
No one is safe till the whole world is safe.
The Secretary of State for Scotland Alister Jack said:
This deal is an endorsement of the UK Governments strategy of investing in vaccinedevelopment and in the skills of the Scottish life sciences sector.
I pay tribute to the team in Valnevas new Livingston manufacturing plant. If the vaccine isauthorised by the health regulator, their expertise will play an important role in making theworld safer from this virus.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
The UK has developed and invested in some of the worlds most promising vaccines -supporting global efforts to fight this virus.
The Valneva vaccine showcases the best of Scottish expertise right at the heart of our UKvaccine endeavour, demonstrating the strength of our union and what the UK can achievewhen it works together. If the vaccine is authorised by the health regulator, it will be rolledout across the four nations as quickly as possible.
Interim Chair of the UK governments Vaccines Taskforce Clive Dix said:
Valnevas manufacturing site in Scotland is already up and running, ready to supply theirpromising vaccine as soon as it has proven to be safe, and effective and is approved bythe MHRA.
To best ensure we have enough successful candidates to ensure maximum coverage ofthe UK population, the Vaccines Taskforce has invested in seven of the most promisingvaccines. The further 40 million doses secured through todays deal significantly bolstersour portfolio and gives us future flexibility should we need to revaccinate any of the UKpopulation.
I want to thank everyone involved in the development of this vaccine for the hard workthat has helped us reach this point and also to pay tribute to those UK citizens who havevolunteered to take part in the important clinical trials of this vaccine.
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.
Valnevas Livingston site will have the capacity to produce up to 250 million doses annually for shipment across the UK and around the world.
The UK Government is committed to supporting equitable access to vaccines worldwide. The UK is the largest donor to the COVAX facility, the global mechanism to help developing countries access a coronavirus vaccine, and has committed 548 million in UK aid to help distribute 1.3 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines to 92 developing countries this year.
To date, the UK government ha