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UK minister: Regulatory concern for Valneva shot sank deal


Sajid Javid’s remarks come a day after Valneva terminated the government’s agreement to buy at least 100 million doses of the vaccine. The company “strongly” denied allegations that it had breached its contractual obligations.

Responding to questions from an MP, Javid said he could not elaborate on the government’s decision due to business issues.

But he added that “it was also clear to us that the vaccine the company was developing would not receive approval from (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) in the UK,” Javid said in the House of Commons.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the company, if Britain had taken delivery of all 190 million doses, Valneva would have received up to 1.4 billion euros ($1.65 billion) from the agreement.

While the decision to cancel the contract will not have an immediate impact on Britain’s mass vaccination programme, Scottish officials are concerned about the impact on jobs at the Vallneva plant in Livingston, outside Edinburgh.

The government’s investment in Valneva’s COVID-19 vaccine was expected to support at least 100 high-paying jobs at the plant.

Javid said the government would work with the Scottish authorities on issues surrounding the Livingston plant.

Even without the Valneva vaccine, the government has achieved more than enough doses to fully vaccinate everyone in the country twice.

According to the latest government figures, more than 80% of people aged 16 and above have already been fully vaccinated. The government on Tuesday announced plans to offer a third shot of the vaccine to people over 50 and other vulnerable people this winter in an effort to stave off weakened immunity.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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UK minister: Regulatory concern for Valneva shot sank deal