UK government pulls Covid vaccine agreement with French firm

UK government pulls Covid vaccine agreement with French firm

The UK government has ended its Covid vaccine deal with Valneva, according to the French company.

It had put in an order for 100 million doses, after requesting 40 million more in February.

But Valneva said the deal has now been terminated.

The government served notice over allegations of a breach of the agreement, which the French pharmaceutical company “strenuously” denies.

The Valneva jab is still in the clinical trial phase.

The French firm said it could be approved for use, subject to trial results and a decision from the UK medicines regulator, towards the end of this year.

Valneva said on Monday it had “received a termination notice from the UK government (“HMG”) in relation to the Supply Agreement for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001”.

A company statement said: “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.”

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.”

Valenva said it would “increase its efforts with potential other customers” to ensure its vaccine candidate can be used to tackle the Covid pandemic.

The jab is being produced at a site in the Scottish town of Livingston.

Following Valneva’s statement on Monday, Scotland’s health secretary, Humza Yousaf, said: “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.”

He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: “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.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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