UK authorizes COVID-19 vaccine from Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva

The COVID-19 vaccine from the Franco-Austrian laboratory Valneva has been approved in the United Kingdom, the British regulator, the MHRA, announced on Thursday.

“The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Valneva today received regulatory approval from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA),” the agency said in a statement saying the regulator British is the first in the world to approve it.

Valneva had already received an authorization for the emergency use of its serum in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which bought a million doses from it.

The laboratory has also signed an agreement with the European Commission for the supply of a maximum of 60 million doses over two years in 2022 and 2023.

Valneva is the sixth coronavirus vaccine to be licensed in the UK, joining those from AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), and Novavax.

“The Independent Commission for Medicinal Products for Human Use and its expert task force on COVID-19 have carefully reviewed the available evidence and … the benefit/risk balance is positive,” said Professor Munir Pirmohamed, chairman of this commission, quoted in this press release.

The Valneva vaccine can be used in people aged 18 to 50, with the first and second doses taken at least 28 days apart.

This vaccine can be stored at the temperature of conventional refrigerators, which facilitates its use.

The UK has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic which has claimed more than 171,000 lives there. More than 92% of the population aged 12 and over received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, 86.2% a second dose and 67.8% a booster dose.

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