UK clears 6th COVID shot despite cancellation of dose agreement

LONDON (AP) – British authorities have approved a coronavirus vaccine for adults made by French drug maker Valneva, despite the government’s decision last year to cancel an order for at least 100 million doses.

The UK is the first country to approve Valneva’s vaccine, which is also under review by the European Medicines Agency. The UK Medicines Agency said on Thursday that the two-dose vaccine is intended for adults aged 18 to 50, with the second dose given about a month after the first.

The Valneva vaccine is made with the decades-old technology used to make shots against the flu and polio. It is the sixth COVID-19 vaccine approved by the UK and the only one to use a “killed” virus; Scientists grow coronavirus in a laboratory and then inactivate the virus so that it cannot replicate or infect cells.

The British government scrapped an agreement with Valneva in September to buy at least 100 million doses, saying at the time that UK regulators were unlikely to remove the shot. Valneva said the UK was canceling the deal due to supply problems.

Health Minister Sajid Javid said in September that he could not go into detail due to commercial problems, but that the agreement was extended because “it was also clear to us that the vaccine in question, which the company was developing, would not be approved. “

Britain was an early supporter of the Valneva vaccine and agreed to invest millions of pounds in a production facility in Scotland. As part of the contract, the UK had agreed to buy 100 million doses with options for a further 90 million.

Even without the Valneva vaccine, the government has acquired more than enough doses to fully vaccinate everyone in the country twice. To date, almost 60% of the UK population has received three doses.


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