PARIS (AFP) – Britain has secured access to up to 190 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from Valneva in deal worth as much as EUR1.37 billion, the French-Austrian vaccine firm said yesterday.
It had already been disclosed in July that the British government had reserved 60 million doses of Valneva’s inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine under development.
The firm said it expects to begin trials of the two-dose vaccine in December and if it is successful for it to become available in the second half of 2021.
The 60 million doses supplied to Britain in 2021 would come at a cost of EUR470 million (USD557 million).
Britain will then have options on 40 million doses in 2022 and between 30 and 90 million across 2023 to 2025, which would cost EUR900 million.
“We are honoured to have been chosen by the UK Government and are eager to partner with them to address this terrible ongoing pandemic,” Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach was quoted as saying in a statement.
Valneva said the British government has also committed to invest into expanding the company’s manufacturing site in Scotland which would allow it to become a major vaccine facility.
“This new agreement could help us vaccinate millions of people across the country, as well as help create a UK vaccine manufacturing facility to speed up access to a potential Covid-19 candidate and boost the country’s resilience against future pandemics,” said Britain’s Business Secretary Alok Sharma.