A Covid-19 vaccine developed by the French company Valneva has received the green light from the UK’s drug regulator, and the EMA will make its own decision in the coming weeks.
The UK’s relationship with the French vaccine developer Valneva has run hot and cold over the past two years.
In 2020, the UK government invested in Valneva’s manufacturing facilities in Scotland and signed up for 60 million doses of the firm’s vaccine upon approval. In late 2021, the UK government terminated the contract, explaining that the vaccine wouldn’t have gained approval. This month, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) cleared any doubt on the issue by approving the use of Valneva’s Covid-19 vaccine in adults between 18 and 50 years of age.
The approval was based on promising phase III results last year, where the inactivated whole-virus vaccine provoked comparable immune responses against Covid-19 infections to those produced by AstraZeneca’s viral vector vaccine. Valneva’s candidate also shows fewer side effects than many approved vaccines.
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