Large-scale production of a vaccine created by French firm Valneva will begin at a plant in Livingston, Scotland.
The UK has managed to go top of the queue on future vaccine supplies by announcing bulk manufacturing of up to 60 million doses of a new Covid vaccine.
UK manufacturing new Covid vaccine
Large-scale production of a vaccine created by French firm Valneva will begin at a plant in Livingston, Scotland. If the Valneva vaccine is approved, the UK hopes to produce 200 million jabs, which is far more than required to immunise all its citizens.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “The Valneva vaccine will be another vital tool in our fight against the virus if approved.” He said the Scottish production was “another fantastic example of the strength of our Union”.
Under the national plan for vaccinations, the UK has ordered 100 million Oxford/AstraZeneca doses, 40 million of the Pfizer jab, and 17 million of the Moderna vaccine, on top of the 60 million from Valneva.
Last night the EU threatened to steal UK-produced Oxford/AstraZeneca batches from the UK after plants in Europe failed to produce enough.
Boris Johnson will visit Scotland today to state that the Union has been integral in acquiring and administering the Covid vaccine, providing Covid testing and giving economic support to Scotland during the pandemic. The Prime Minister spoke about the “great benefits of co-operation” to overcome the Covid crisis, which has resulted in more than 100,000 Covid deaths in the UK. The visit comes as First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, plans to illegally hold a referndum on Scottish independence despite having already lost what nationalists dubbed a “once in a generation” plebiscite in 2014.
Speaking ahead of his visit, the Prime Minister said: “The great benefits of co-operation across the whole of the UK have never been clearer than since the beginning of this pandemic. We have pulled together to defeat the virus, providing £8.6 billion to the Scottish Government to support public services whilst also protecting the jobs of more than 930,000 citizens in Scotland. We have a vaccine programme developed in labs in Oxford being administered across the United Kingdom by our armed forces, who are helping to establish 80 new vaccine centres across Scotland. That’s how we are delivering for the people of Scotland so we can ensure the strongest possible recovery from the virus. Mutual co-operation across the UK throughout this pandemic is exactly what the people of Scotland expect and it is what I have been focused on. The people of the UK have stood together during this pandemic: from our doctors and nurses in our hospitals to our shop workers, scientists, lorry drivers and teachers – working together as one truly United Kingdom is the best way to build our Covid recovery.”