Kamala Harris gets second dose of coronavirus vaccine
Covid vaccines are being handed out across the country, with 7,164,387 people receiving their first dose already, according to the latest figures. There are currently just two types of vaccine in circulation, although another could be on the way soon. What is the Valneva vaccine?
The first person in the country received their Covid jab on December 8 2020.
Margaret Keenan, 91, received one of the first of 800,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which the UK ordered back in November.
A few weeks later, the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was given approval for mass distribution by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The Moderna vaccine has also been approved, but won’t be distributed until later in the year.
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The Government has now revealed that Valneva has started large-scale vaccine manufacturing at its site in Scotland.
The French company has a base in Livingston, Scotland, and has already started making its vaccine ahead of JCVI approval.
The UK ordered 60 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, with a further 130 million on order if the vaccine proves to be safe and effective.
But, the vaccine is still some way away from being given clearance for mass distribution.
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Valneva’s Covid vaccine is still only in phase I/II trials.
It will need to be able to prove its safety and effectiveness before being handed the green light for distribution.
The Government has hinted that it’s expecting the vaccine to be rolled out before the end of the year.
But, once it is approved, it will be faster to roll out the vaccine as it’s already being manufactured.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Valneva vaccine would deliver jabs across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
“We’ve already secured 60 million doses of the Valneva vaccine which, if approved, will be another vital tool in our fight against this virus,” he said.
“The start of manufacturing in West Lothian today puts Scottish expertise right at the heart of the UK vaccine programme.
“Set to deliver millions more jabs across all four nations, this is yet another fantastic example of the strength of our Union, as we work together as one United Kingdom to tackle the virus.”
The Valneva vaccine is an inactivated vaccine candidate, known as VLA2001.
Early results have been encouraging, but vaccine chiefs have warned it would take much longer to develop than others.
The initial regulatory approval isn’t expected until the “fourth quarter” of 2021.
That means Valneva’s vaccine isn’t likely to gain approval for mass distribution until September, at the earliest.
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