French vaccine company Valneva today revealed that the UK government had terminated its Covid-19 vaccine supply agreement to supply 190 million doses, citing an ‘obligations’ – which the company denied.
The biotech company has produced the vaccine at its plant in Livingston, West Lothian, and planned to expand the plant with 200 new jobs that Boris Johnson had visited in January.
About 100 million doses of the vaccine were ordered after the UK increased its request by 40 million in February.
The government filed a notice of allegations of breach of the agreement, but the company said it “firmly” denies the allegations.
Boris Johnson attempts a test while visiting French biotechnology lab Valneva in Livingston, whose covid vaccine contract has been terminated by the government today
In a statement, Valneva said: “Valneva SE, a specialist vaccine company, announced today that it has received a notice of termination from the UK Government (HMG) in relation to the supply agreement for its vaccine candidate against COVID-19, VLA2001 .
‘The contract gives HMG the right to cancel. HMG has claimed that the company is not fulfilling its obligations under the supply agreement, but the company strongly denies this.’
The vaccine candidate is currently in Phase 3 trials, the company said, with results in the fourth quarter.
“Subject to this data and approval by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), Valneva believes the first approval for VLA2001 could be granted by the end of 2021,” the company added.
It added: ‘Valneva has worked tirelessly and to the best of its ability on its partnership with HMG, including investing significant resources and efforts to respond to HMG’s requests for variant-based vaccines.
“Valneva remains committed to the development of VLA2001 and will increase its efforts with other potential customers to ensure that the inactivated vaccine can be used in the fight against the pandemic.”
The Valneva shot is unique among Covid vaccines. Unlike other injections, which use genetic fragments of the Covid virus, the Valneva shot contains the entire, inactivated virus, just like flu and hepatitis A vaccines.
Because it has more parts of the virus that the immune system can learn from, experts hope it will be more variant resistant than the others. Early research results from 150 patients also showed that the vaccine produced a strong immune response.
Pfizer and AstraZeneca Covid vaccines can be used safely and effectively as boosters, the UK medical regulator has said.
The ruling means Britons could receive a third dose as soon as ministers get the green light from their expert advisers.
The Joint Vaccination and Immunization Committee (JCVI) met yesterday [THU] to consider who should get a booster shot, with a decision expected in a few days.
The biotech company has produced the vaccine at its plant in Livingston, West Lothian, and planned to expand the plant with 200 new jobs
Members review the latest data from Southampton University Hospital’s Cov-Boost trial.
The £19.3 million UK clinical trial is testing the Pfizer shot alongside those from AstraZeneca, Moderna, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Valneva and CureVac.
The study answers important questions, such as whether people who have had two doses of AstraZeneca may benefit more from a third dose of Pfizer.
The new Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guideline says Pfizer boosters can be given to anyone, regardless of what doses they’ve had before.
However, AstraZeneca boosters will only be given to those who have previously had the AstraZeneca shot.
According to new figures, Covid vaccinations have now directly prevented an estimated 112,300 deaths in England.
Earlier estimates put the number at 105,900 dead.
The vaccine rollout has also prevented approximately 24.7 million infections, along with 143,600 hospitalizations among people over 65.
The figures, calculated by Public Health England and Cambridge University, cover the period up to August 27.
Nearly 89 percent of all people aged 16 and over in England have now received one dose of vaccine, while 80 percent have been fully vaccinated.
However, vaccine use remains lower among younger age groups.
It is estimated that 83 per cent of 30 to 39 year olds in England have now had one shot, along with just 73 per cent of those aged 18 to 29.
Separate figures from Public Health England show Covid cases are rising in all regions of England except the South West.
Northeast England has the highest rate, with 378.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to September 5, up from 320.3.
London has the lowest rate at 240.0, up slightly from 237.5.
The number of cases also continues to rise in most age groups, except for 20- to 29-year-olds, 60-69-year-olds and the over-80s.
The highest rate is among 10- to 19-year-olds, with 681.4 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to September 5, a sharp week-to-week increase of 478.3.
The lowest percentage is among people aged 80 and older, at 114.0, slightly lower than 115.4.