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Covid-19: Valneva begins production of 60 million vaccine doses in Scotland
28 January 2021, 09:03
The production of tens of millions of Covid-19 vaccines has begun at a factory in Scotland, Valneva has announced.
If approved by regulators, the manufacturer is expected to deliver up to 60 million doses to the UK by the end of this year.
Before being rolled out it has to be proven to be safe, effective and suitable by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The UK is set to order further 130 million doses if it passes the crucial tests.
It follows the approval of the Oxford/Astrazeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccine in the UK and many other countries.
Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said: "We are extremely pleased to have achieved these two important milestones in such a short period of time. Our team in Scotland have done an amazing job to get manufacturing started so quickly.
"I would like to thank the UK Vaccines Taskforce and National Institute for Health Research who have played vital roles in the rapid recruitment and enrolment of the volunteers for the clinical study.
"We believe that our vaccine, assuming successful development, can make a major contribution in the UK and beyond."
The Government has also welcomed the news and celebrated "Scottish expertise" as production gets underway at the biotech firm's site in West Lothian.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said: "We've already secured 60 million doses of the Valneva vaccine which, if approved, will be another vital tool in our fight against this virus.
"The start of manufacturing in West Lothian today puts Scottish expertise right at the heart of the UK vaccine programme.
"Set to deliver millions more jabs across all four nations, this is yet another fantastic example of the strength of our Union, as we work together as one United Kingdom to tackle the virus."
The UK has so far secured early access to 367 million doses of seven vaccines and has spent over £230 million to boost manufacturing for the successful contenders.
More than 7.1 million people across the UK have now had a least one dose of one of the jabs.