Boris Johnson hails 'very promising' vaccine set to be made in Scotland

6 April 2021, 14:18 | Updated: 6 April 2021, 14:23

Boris Johnson has praised the Valneva Covid vaccine
Boris Johnson has praised the Valneva Covid vaccine. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Data showing a coronavirus vaccine set to be made in the UK produces a strong immune response has been hailed as "very promising news" by Boris Johnson.

Early tests show the Valneva jab produced "significant levels" of antibodies in 90% of 153 participants, according to the French company.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it generated a "strong immune response" while Valneva added that it induced T-cell responses, which help protect the body from viruses and play a role in long-lasting immunity.

It is also set to be manufactured in Scotland, amid fears about the EU’s approach to exporting vaccines made in the bloc.

The Prime Minister tweeted: "Very promising news that the @ValnevaSE vaccine shows a strong immune response and will progress to Phase 3 trials.

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Valneva's vaccine has showed promising data in early trials
Valneva's vaccine has showed promising data in early trials. Picture: PA

"If it is successful and meets our robust safety standards this vaccine will be manufactured in Scotland, providing a crucial weapon in our battle against Covid."

The vaccine was found to be safe and generally well tolerated, with no safety concerns identified.

Mr Hancock said: "The UK Government has funded these clinical trials and it is fantastic to see Valneva's vaccine produces a strong immune response.

"This vaccine will be made onshore in Livingston in Scotland, giving another boost to British life science, and if approved will play an important role in protecting our communities."

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the results provided a "renewed hope" that "using a whole inactivated virus might provide strong protection against variants".

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Clive Dix, chairman of the Government’s Vaccines Taskforce, said: "These are great results from Valneva, particularly around the antibody and cellular responses generated and low numbers of adverse events, as these indicate good levels of immune responses among the participants to date.

"The findings of 100% levels of immunogenicity against the viral spike protein in the high-dose group is also encouraging.

"Inactivated virus vaccines are proven technologies that are often able to induce wide-ranging immune responses, and these promising data indicate that (Valneva) may continue this trend."