‘Don’t wait for EU’ Macron urged to snatch UK’s Valneva vaccine doses in Frexit move

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Valneva said the Government had alleged it was “in breach of its obligations” under the deal to supply the vaccine, which it is currently developing at its facility in Livingston, West Lothian. The UK had ordered 100 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, with the amount to be supplied upped by 40 million back in February.

However the pharmaceutical firm said it had “received a termination notice from the UK Government (HMG) in relation to the supply agreement for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001”.

Now Frexiteers are calling on Emmanuel Macron to seize the chance of buying the unwanted doses by the UK outside of the EU vaccine procurement programme.

Generation Frexit’s Quentin Bourgeois, former municipal councillor at Saint Omer, said: “Valneva loses its contract with the UK for its Covid vaccine.

“France can regain control of these available doses without waiting for the opinion of the EU for once.

“Let’s take back control of our health policy.”

Generation Frexit leader Charles-Henri Gallois also echoed: “France should take this opportunity and pre-order doses of the French vaccine from Valneva, outside the EU purchasing programme.

“We know how to speak of sovereignty for communication. It would now be a question of showing it for once by deeds!”

Announcing the news, Valneva said in a statement: “The contract provides HMG with the right to terminate. HMG has alleged that the company is in breach of its obligations under the supply agreement, but the company strenuously denies this.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said the cancellation of the vaccine contract with Valneva will not impact on the UK’s vaccine programme.

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He said: “You’ll appreciate this is an ongoing commercial issue, so I’m slightly restricted in what I can say. I appreciate that the company has issued a statement.

“At this point, I’m restricted as to what I can say. Broadly, you’ll know that MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) has not approved a Valneva vaccine.

“The comments from the company won’t have any impact on our vaccine supply and did not form any part of our vaccine rollout in autumn and winter.

“DH (The Department of Health) might be able to say more in due course.”

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The Valneva vaccine candidate is currently in Phase 3 trials, the firm said, with results due in the fourth quarter.

It added that subject to these and MHRA (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) approval, it believes that “initial approval” for the VLA2001 vaccine could be granted in late 2021.

The firm stated: “Valneva has worked tirelessly, and to its best efforts, on the collaboration with HMG including investing significant resources and effort to respond to HMG’s requests for variant-derived vaccines.

“Valneva continues to be committed to the development of VLA2001 and will increase its efforts with other potential customers to ensure that its inactivated vaccine can be used in the fight against the pandemic.”

Local MP, the SNP’s Hannah Bardell said she was “incredibly disappointed” by the news.

She pledged she would be “working with Valneva – who have worked tirelessly on this vaccine – and will raise this urgently with the UK Government”.

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