Vaccine company Valneva has begun manufacturing of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland.
The UK government made a joint multi-million pound investment in the manufacturing facility as part of the agreement to secure early access to 60 million doses, with the option to acquire a further 130 million if the COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be safe, effective, and suitable.
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 before it is rolled out at the end of the year.
Improving production in the UK
The new facility establishes a permanent UK capability to manufacture inactivated viral vaccines – one of the most proven, widely used types which is also used for flu, polio, and rabies. The facility will be able to produce up to 250 million doses annually if the vaccine is proven successful.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Thanks to the UK Vaccine Taskforce, we have ordered up to 60 million jabs of Valneva’s promising vaccine if it proves to be safe, effective and suitable in its clinical trials this year. By starting manufacturing, we will have a running start at rolling these out as quickly as possible to protect the British public if it receives regulatory approval.
“This facility in Scotland, backed by millions from the Government, will help us beat coronavirus and boost our resilience against future pandemics.”
Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack said: “It’s incredibly exciting that a potential new COVID-19 vaccine will be manufactured right here in Scotland, at the Valneva plant in Livingston.
“This big step forward is a testament to the talent and hard work of all the Valneva staff who have worked so far to get to this stage. The UK government has invested millions into developing the Valneva vaccine, which is also supporting hundreds of highly skilled jobs in Scotland.”