London [UK], February 1 (ANI/Sputnik): The United Kingdom secured on Monday 40 million extra doses of the Valneva COVID-19 vaccine candidate, taking to 100 million the total number of doses it has purchased from the French biotech company, the UK government announced.
"The decision to purchase 40 million extra doses is based on the UK's strategy to take a wide approach, using different technologies and viral targets to ensure the UK has the best chance of securing access to successful vaccines as quickly as possible. It will also give the UK future flexibility should we need to revaccinate any of the population," the official statement read.
The 100 million doses will be manufactured at Valneva's site in West Lothian, Scotland, where production started last week.
The vaccine could be rolled out at the end of the year provided it meets the safety and effectiveness standards set by the UK regulatory agency.
"If approved, Valneva's vaccine will not only help tackle Covid-19 here in the UK but aid our mission to ensure there is a fair supply of vaccines across the globe," Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said, as quoted in the statement.
The UK, with a population of 66 million, has already ordered over 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses from seven different manufacturers, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, whose vaccines are being rolled out as part of a vaccination campaign that started in December 2020.
As of Sunday, nearly nine million people from the priority groups -over 70s, health and care home workers and vulnerable patients - had received their first dose. (ANI/Sputnik)