The UK Government has agreed a deal with a biotech company for 60 million doses of its potential Covid-19 vaccine.
The Government signed off on the deal with Valneva this week, giving it early access to the company’s vaccine candidate which will be manufactured in West Lothian.
The Government says this will advance Scotland’s vaccine manufacturing capacity and support skilled jobs, with 75 additional researches expected to be hired to work on the coronavirus vaccine.
If clinical trials determine that Valneva’s vaccine is safe and effective, the Livingston facility could supply up to 100 million vaccine doses to the UK and internationally.
Visiting Valneva’s Livingston facility today, business secretary Alok Sharma said: “I’m incredibly grateful to our highly skilled scientists and technicians in Livingston who are supporting the global effort to research, develop and manufacture a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.
“The multi-million pound upfront investment we have agreed with Valneva today means that their vaccine can be manufactured in quantity right here in Scotland. If clinical trials are successful, millions of people in priority groups across the UK will be protected by their lifesaving vaccine.
Secretary of state for Scotland Alister Jack commented: “A safe and effective vaccine is vital to the long-term protection against the virus we need. I’m particularly pleased that Scotland’s world class research sector is playing such an important role in developing a much-needed vaccine.”
Vaccine Taskforce chair Kate Bingham said: “The visit of the secretary of state to Valneva’s Livingston facility today and the announcement of investment in their manufacturing capability underlines the importance of our ability to make a vaccine for Covid-19 as quickly as possible.
“In order to vaccinate our high-risk populations at the earliest opportunity, the Government has agreed to proactively manufacture vaccines now, so we have millions of doses of vaccine ready if they are shown to be safe and effective.
“This important investment in Valneva’s Scottish manufacturing plant will not only help us with this, but also ensure we are well-placed as a country to be able to cope with any pandemics or health crises in the future.”