Covid: UK government pulls agreement with Valneva for Scotland-manufactured coronavirus vaccine

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit to a laboratory at Valneva. Credit: PA

The government has terminated an agreement with French pharmaceutical company Valneva for 100 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccination, the company said.

Noticed was served over allegations of a breach of the agreement, but the firm, which is manufacturing the jab in Livingston, Scotland, said it “strenuously” denies the allegations.

Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said the announcement is a “blow” for the facility.

The government had 100 doses on order. Credit: PA

He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “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.”

He added that there is enough vaccine supply for a potential booster campaign, despite the termination of the contract.

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.”

The vaccine candidate is currently in Phase 3 trials (where it is tested on a wide range of volunteers), the firm said, with results due later in 2021.

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“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”, the company added.

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.”