UK cancels 140million Valneva order for jabs made in Scotland over 'breach of agreement'

THE UK has lost out on 140 million Covid vaccines after the Government pulled its agreement with the firm Valneva.

The contract was terminated due to a “breach” that has not been disclosed.

Some 100 million doses of the vaccine were put on order after the UK increased its request by 40 million in February.

The jabs were being made by French pharmaceutical company Valneva at its site in Livingston, West Lothian, in Scotland.

Results of the final stages of clinical trials were expected from October, meaning the jabs would likely have been ready by the end of the year. 

Early findings showed the jab produces a “strong immune response”, described by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as “very promising”.

Valneva revealed the Government had served notice over allegations of a breach of the agreement, which it "strenuously denies".

In a statement, Valneva said: “Valneva SE, a specialty vaccine company, today announced that it has received a termination notice from the UK Government (HMG) in relation to the Supply Agreement for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001.

“The contract provides HMG with the right to terminate. HMG has alleged that the company is in breach of its obligations under the supply agreement, but the company strenuously denies this.

“Subject to these data and MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) approval, Valneva believes that initial approval for VLA2001 could be granted in late 2021.”

It added: “Valneva has worked tirelessly, and to its best efforts, on the collaboration with HMG including investing significant resources and effort to respond to HMG’s requests for variant-derived vaccines.

“Valneva continues to be committed to the development of VLA2001 and will increase its efforts with other potential customers to ensure that its inactivated vaccine can be used in the fight against the pandemic.”

The Sun has contacted the Department of Health and Social Care for comment.

Although the two-dose Covid vaccine would still need approval from drug regulators, manufacturing has already started in Scotland, according to the BBC.

Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf reassured Brits there was enough vaccine doses without the Valneva supply.

He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “Two things I would like to give a reassurance on: first and foremost, even if this contract is terminated we have enough supply even for a booster programme moving forward.

“I want to give absolute confidence to anybody listening that we have the supplies necessary to continue to vaccinate, and particularly with a booster programme, hopefully, on the horizon shortly.

“The second thing, of course, is this is a blow for the facility in Livingston. We are very keen and will be reaching out to the company to try to get security and secure a future for that facility in Livingston; we hope that would be with Valneva.

“Clearly, when it comes to their supposed alleged failure to meet their contract obligations, we obviously are looking for more information from the UK Government and would expect that shortly.”

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