French vaccine manufacturer, Valneva, has announced that it has won EU approval to supply up to 60 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001. This forms part of the response to the rise in COVID-19 cases across the EU.
"The Valneva vaccine adds another option to our broad portfolio, once it is proven to be safe and effective by the European Medicines Agency," EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said, according to France 24. "The message remains the same: trust the science, and vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate."
In October, Valneva demonstrated that, given in two shots 28 days apart, those who received the Valneva jab had high levels of neutralising antibodies against COVID-19, outperforming AstraZeneca in this way as well as in terms of having few adverse effects.
The European Commission said that the contract with Valneva provides the possibility for EU member states to purchase nearly 27 million doses in 2022. Member states can then make a further order of up to 33 million additional vaccines in 2023.
This decision follows the UK government’s termination of their deal with Valneva in September, where 100 million doses of the vaccine were dropped. UK Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, said that the axing of the deal was based on the assumption that the vaccine would not have gained UK regulatory approval.
Valneva’s chief financial officer, David Lawrence, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime that Mr Javid’s comments had a detrimental impact on the business, and share prices dropped by 35% at the time. Mr Lawrence called for an apology and hinted that the company has not ruled out “legal recourse”.
Despite this, the EU deal has certainly allowed Valneva to regain momentum, and share price jumped more than 20% on Wednesday 10th following news of the approval.