Delay to Covid-19 vaccine manufactured in Livingston

The Covid-19 vaccine being made in West Lothian will be delivered later than expected, manufacturer Valneva has said.

The UK Government has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, 60 million of which were due for delivery before the end of 2021.

But this timescale has been delayed, Valneva said, with some of those doses now due in the first quarter of 2022.

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The company released positive results of phase one and two clinical trials of the vaccine earlier this week, and it is hoped that phase three trials will begin before the end of April.

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - JULY  23: The Valneva Plant, which is producing the UK’s coronavirus vaccine during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, on July 23, 2020, in Livingston, Scotland.
LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: The Valneva Plant, which is producing the UK’s coronavirus vaccine during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, on July 23, 2020, in Livingston, Scotland.

Valneva then intends to submit the vaccine to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the Autumn, slightly later than originally intended.

The UK Government declined to comment on the delay.

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Valneva said in a statement: “The company continues to work closely with the UK Government to review plans including potential variant vaccine development and supply as well as meeting the UK’s booster campaign requirements acknowledging the ongoing vaccine roll out in the UK.

"As a result, Valneva now believes that the timeline for delivery of 60 million doses of vaccine to the UK Government will extend into the first quarter of 2022.

"Based on the Phase 1/2 data, the company is also investigating antigen sparing options for booster strategies.

"Overall capacity and delivery schedule will be dependent on the UK’s vaccine requirements and production related factors.”

Asked who the Valneva vaccine might be given to in Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said future rounds of vaccination are currently being considered by the Scottish Government, but details have yet to be decided.

It is expected that the Covid-19 vaccine will be manufactured in Livingston for some years to come, providing regular vaccines in a similar way to those given for flu.

It is an inactivated whole virus vaccine, a more “traditional approach” than other Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing methods, and may be particularly suitable for those with weaker immune systems.

Trial results released this week show the accine was “well tolerated” in phase one and two clinical trials, with no safety concerns raised.

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