The British government signed a deal on Monday for an extra 40 million doses of the CCP virus vaccine developed by French pharmaceutical firm Valneva.
The UK government had already purchased 60 million doses of the vaccine. It has invested millions of pounds in Valneva’s manufacturing facility in Livingston, Scotland, which began production last week.
I’m so pleased we’ve secured an additional 40 million doses of the Valneva vaccine
This vaccine shows the best of Scottish expertise right at the heart of our UK vaccine endeavour, & demonstrates the strength of our union working together.https://t.co/XRCSAyMejp
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) February 1, 2021
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “so pleased” by the deal.
“This vaccine shows the best of Scottish expertise right at the heart of our UK vaccine endeavour, & demonstrates the strength of our union working together,” he wrote on Twitter.
The deal brings the total number of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccine doses secured by the UK to 407 million.
The extra purchase is intended to ensure the UK has “the best chance of securing access to successful vaccines as quickly as possible,” the government said in a statement.
It will also give the UK future flexibility in case there is a need to revaccinate any part of the population, it said.
Valneva’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate is currently undergoing trials and will need to receive regulatory approval before it is rolled out at the end of the year.
— Valneva (@valnevaSE) February 1, 2021
The company said that 150 healthy adults aged 18 to 55 years have been recruited for a clinical study, which commenced mid-December and is expected to report initial results in April 2021.
If the jab gets approved by UK regulators, the Livingston facility will be able to produce up to 250 million doses of the vaccine every year for shipment across the UK and around the world.
In addition to the 100 million doses already purchased, the UK government retains options over a further 90 million doses for supply between 2023 and 2025.
The total value of the 190 million doses is up to 1.4 billion euros, or £1.24 billion ($1.69 billion), Valneva said in a statement.
The UK has so far approved three COVID-19 vaccines developed, respectively, by Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, and Moderna.
By Sunday, nearly 9 million people across the UK had received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Sunday 31 January 2021, 21,088 new cases and 587 deaths within 28 days of a positive test were reported across the UK.
— Public Health England (@PHE_uk) January 31, 2021