London [UK], January 28 (ANI/Sputnik): Pharmaceutical firm Valneva has begun manufacturing its candidate vaccine against COVID-19 at a site in Scotland, the UK government said on Thursday.
According to a press release, which was published by the UK’s business and health ministries, Valneva will begin production of its candidate vaccine at a site in Livingston, with plans in place to produce up to 60 million doses by the end of 2021 should the vaccine gain regulatory approval.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the start of production at Valneva’s Scottish site.
“It’s brilliant that @valnevaSE is starting the large-scale manufacture of its potential vaccine, creating 100 high-skilled jobs at their Livingston facility,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.
Valneva’s candidate vaccine against the coronavirus disease is still in phase I/II trials, although the decision to begin production has been taken to ensure rapid rollout across the UK should the country’s medical regulator grant approval, according to the press release.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said in a Twitter post that the start of manufacturing in Scotland was a “fantastic example of the strength of our Union.”
The United Kingdom has placed orders for 367 million vaccine doses from seven different manufacturers. The country is currently inoculating its residents with vaccines produced by AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech, and more than 7.1 million people have so far received their first shot, according to data published by the Department of Health and Social Care.
On Wednesday, 25,308 people in the UK tested positive for COVID-19, taking the country’s case total past 3.7 million. A further 1,725 fatalities recorded within 28 days of individual testing positive for the disease were also reported on the same day.
The UK has experienced a surge in new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths since the discovery of a new variant of the disease in southeast England in September. The new highly infectious strain began to spread rapidly in December. (ANI/Sputnik)
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