UK approves vaccine from Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva

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London finally authorizes the anti-Covid vaccine from the Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva, seven months after terminating a contract for 100 million doses. This is the sixth vaccine against Covid-19 that is authorized in the country.

The vaccine against COVID-19 of Valneva has been approved by the British regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), a reassuring news for the Franco-Austrian laboratory after the termination of his contract with the British government.

“The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Valneva received regulatory approval from the MHRA today,” the agency announced Thursday, April 14, in a statement claiming the British regulator was the first in the world to “approve”.

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Valneva had already received emergency use authorization for VLA2001 in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which purchased one million doses from her.

It is the sixth vaccine against the coronavirus that is authorized in the United Kingdomjoining those of AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) monodose, and Novavax.

termination of a contract

However, its use remains uncertain. This authorization comes seven months after a great disappointment for the group: the termination by the British government of a contract for 100 million doses.

The government then invoked a breach by Valneva of its obligations, which the laboratory disputed.

The anti-Covid vaccination campaign has already clearly set the pace in the United Kingdom, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 171,000 deaths.

More than 92% of the population aged 12 and over have already received a first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, 86.2% a second dose and 67.8% a booster dose.

“The Independent Commission on Medicinal Products for Human Use and its working group of experts on Covid-19 have carefully reviewed the available evidence and […] the benefit/risk ratio is positive”, said Professor Munir Pirmohamed, president of this commission, quoted in this press release.

He pointed out that for this vaccine “two doses [étaient] necessary before a robust antibody response is triggered. This means people will need to be told that protection will only kick in after two doses.”

Factory in Scotland

A company of some 800 employees with historical headquarters in Saint-Herblain, near Nantes (western France), where it has its laboratories, Valneva has three sites outside France. Among these, a factory in Livingston, near Edinburgh in Scotland, dedicated to the production of active substances for vaccines, including serum against Covid-19.

Its Covid-19 vaccine uses the well-known inactivated virus technology, a process that creates an immune response in patients by injecting them with a complete virus, deprived of its ability to harm. It’s the same technology used in their Japanese encephalitis vaccine.

It can be stored at the temperature of conventional refrigerators, which facilitates its use.

In the UK, it can be used in people aged 18 to 50, with the first and second doses taken at least 28 days apart.

The clearance comes as the number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded each week in England and Wales continues to rise, though still well below levels seen in previous waves of the virus.

The laboratory has also signed an agreement with the European Commission for the supply of a maximum of 60 million doses over two years in 2022 and 2023.

with AFP

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