Fourth Covid vaccine undergoes trial in UK as government orders 60 million doses

The UK government has ordered 60 million doses of the Valneva vaccine – stock image (Image: PA)

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A fourth coronavirus vaccine is undergoing trials in the UK as the government places an order for 60 million doses.

The Valneva vaccine is being developed in West Lothian and will initially be tested on 150 volunteers at four National Institute for Health Research sites across the UK.

With the government and the EU already placing an order for 60million doses each, trials are set to begin within months at sites in Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Southampton.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "As we take the monumental steps in rolling out the first Covid-19 vaccine, we must remember that we need to have a range of vaccines available to protect the British public now and long into the future.

(Image: PA)

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“Today we have more welcome  news  that life-saving clinical trials will begin across the country to test the safety and effectiveness of Valneva’s vaccine, which is being clinically developed right here in the UK.

“Having visited Valneva’s state-of-the art facility in the summer, I have seen first-hand the incredible work our scientists and researchers are doing to develop this vaccine."

Larger testing is set to begin in April 2021 if initial trials are successful, with plans for more than 4,000 volunteers to take two doses.

Valneva will potentially have the capacity to supply up to 250 million vaccine doses to the UK and internationally.

Patricia Main, 75, receiving a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from pharmacist Bhavika Mistry at the Boots pharmacy in Halifax
(Image: PA)

(Image: PA)

Thomas Lingelbach, the company’s CEO, said: “Our teams have been working extremely hard to develop our differentiated vaccine candidate and I would like to thank them, as well as the UK Government, for their dedication and support.

“While conducting our first clinical trials, we are already ramping up our manufacturing capacities and commencing production at full-scale so that we can make the vaccine widely available across the world assuming the vaccine is safe and effective.”

It comes as high street pharmacies have begun rolling out Covid-19 vaccines, as the virus death toll across the UK climbed above 100,000.

Boots and Superdrug branches will be among the six stores across England which are able to administer the jabs from today while the Government aims to hit its target of vaccinating all people in the four most vulnerable groups by the middle of next month.

Superdrug in Guildford surrey, where the covid 19 vaccine is being given today
(Image: Daily Star)

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The first six pharmacies to be delivering the vaccine are:

  • Andrews Pharmacy in Macclesfield
  • Cullimore Chemist in Edgware, north London
  • Woodside Pharmacy in Telford
  • Appleton Village pharmacy in Widnes
  • Boots in Halifax
  • Superdrug in Guildford

The specific branches have been picked because they can deliver large volumes of the vaccine and allow for social distancing.

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