Coronavirus vaccine contract extended for manufacturing site in Wrexham

A manufacturing site in Wrexham has had its coronavirus vaccines contract extended.

The UK Government agreement with Indian pharmaceutical and biotechnology firm Wockhardt to fill and finish the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at its site in Wrexham has been extended from 18 to 24 months, International Trade Secretary Liz Truss announced on Wednesday.

The extension will lead to more than 40 new jobs being created and mean the contract will run until August 2022.

Ms Truss, who had been on a five-day visit to India, said: "This is a brilliant bit of news for the UK and people of Wrexham. It brings important investment to the local area, bringing jobs and security to the community as we battle this awful pandemic.

"Wockhardt's investment shows the strength of our trading ties with India which is a further boost to our already-strong vaccine supply as we build back stronger from coronavirus."

Founder chairman of the Wockhardt Group Dr Habil Khorakiwala said: "We are happy to extend our collaboration with the UK Government to make vaccines available and the arrangement brings in a huge sense of purpose and pride, it upholds our ongoing global commitment to fight against an unprecedented pandemic."

Staff at the manufacturing facility on Wrexham Industrial Estate were evacuated in January as police investigated a suspect package and earlier in the month emergency teams were called in to protect supplies following flooding caused by Storm Christoph.