Britain to get fourth vaccine as French firm starts making 60million doses ‘in days’

BRITAIN is set to get a fourth coronavirus vaccine with a French firm to start making 60 million doses within days, it's reported.

Drugs company Valneva is due to start mass manufacturing the jab at its plant in Scotland, Mail on Sunday reports.

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Valneva's boss hopes it can be approved by regulators and start being administered to Brits by summer or early autumn in a boost to Britain's battle with Covid.

Chief executive Thomas Lingelbach said production of the jab is about to start at the company's plant in Livingston, with Britain a "priority".

Mr Lingelbach said: "We are days away from starting the commercial manufacturing.

"We cannot release it without regulatory approval so we're in a little bit of a Catch-22 situation and there are certainly scenarios that we are currently discussing with the regulators.


"But we have already signed up to give priority to the UK and this is something we're currently working on."

It comes as more Brits have now had at least one Covid vaccination than have tested positive for the bug.

A total of 3,559,179 people have received their first jab as of Friday – 201,818 more than the total number of Covid cases in the UK.

Senior Government figures are optimistic that everyone over the age of 18 could have the Covid vaccine by the end of June.

There are plans to ramp up turbocharge the vaccine rollout so five million people receive jabs every week.

Yesterday, Britain's death toll rose by 1,295,with the overall figure now 88,950.

Another 41,346 cases were recorded meaning 3,357,365 people have now tested positive for coronavirus.

But in a glimmer of hope the seven-day average is down almost 19 per cent.

The Valneva injections are given in two doses 21 days apart like Pfizer-BioNTech's.

Bu unlike the Pfizer dose, which has to be stored at -70C it doesn't need to be kept in ultra-cold storage. 

Trials are taking place on 150 volunteers at four sites across England.

The UK has an option to order up to 130 million further doses between 2022 and 2025 at a cost of nearly £800million (€900million).

The Valneva batch is the second highest number of vaccines ordered by the government.

Ministers have ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, 40 million Pfizer doses and  17 million doses of the third approved vaccine, Moderna.

The EU is due to order 30 million doses of the Valneva injection, with an option to buy another 30 million.

Valneva has said previously the its vaccine wouldn't be available for Brits until the last three months of the year.

But Mr Lingelbach said discussions are underway with regulators about rolling it out between July and September.

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