The Government has ordered an extra 40 million doses of the Valneva Covid-19 vaccine, bringing the total number of doses of the UK manufactured jab ordered up to 100 million.
The UK’s current population is around 67 million people, and two doses of the vaccine are required to fully protect one person.
The Valneva vaccine has not yet been approved for use by regulators, and the latest batch is earmarked for delivery in 2022.
What is the Valneva vaccine?
The Valneva vaccine is still in clinical trials, with an early stage study expected to be released within the next three months. The jab is being produced at a site in West Lothian in Scotland.
The Government has said the new deal “will bolster long-term vaccine production in Scotland”, with options retained forever a further 90 million doses for supply between 2023 and 2025. Valneva said the total value of the entire order was up to £1.24 billion.
The vaccine is known as an “inactivated whole virus” vaccine. This means it contains viruses which can still trigger an immune response, all without infecting cells and replicating. This is because their genetic material has been destroyed by heat, chemicals or radiation.
The technology required to produce this vaccine has been used to create jabs to combat seasonal flu, polio and rabies.
How many vaccines does the UK have now?
The latest government order of the Valneva vaccines brings the total number of UK vaccine orders to 407 million doses.
This is split between seven different vaccine candidates ordered since the pandemic began.
Here is a breakdown of the different vaccine candidates and the number of doses ordered by the UK Government:
- BioNTech/Pfizer – 40 million (Approved and being administered in the UK)
- Oxford/Astra Zeneca – 100 million (Approved and being administered in the UK)
- Moderna - 17 million (Approved in UK and expected in the Spring)
- Novavax – Phase 3 - 60 million
- Janssen – Phase 3 - 30 million
- GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi – Phase 1/2 - 60 million
- Valneva – Phase 1/2 - 100 million