Health Secretary Humza Yousaf says he is confident Scotland has enough coronavirus vaccines, after the UK Government ended its agreement with a French pharmaceutical company developing a vaccine in Scotland.
The UK Government has terminated its contract with Valneva, which has been producing a coronavirus vaccine in Livingston which was due to be delivered next year.
Around 100 million doses of the vaccine were put on order with the company, after the UK Government increased its order of Valneva by 40 million doses back in February.
However the government served notice on them over allegations of a breach of their agreement, something Valneva “strenuously” denies.
‘Strenuously’ deny claims of breach
In a statement, the company said it will continue to develop the VLA2001 vaccine, despite the contract termination.
It said: “[The UK Government] has alleged that the company is in breach of its obligations under the supply agreement, but the company strenuously denies this.
“Valneva has worked tirelessly, and to its best efforts, on the collaboration with HMG [UK Government] 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.”
Valneva also says it is expecting its latest trial results soon, and hopes to gain initial approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) by the end of the year.
Since this announcement, Valneva’s shares also fell by 40%.
Health secretary ‘confident’ of supplies
However the health secretary says Scotland has enough vaccines already for everyone to be covered by two doses, but adds he is seeking more information from the UK Government on what happened.
Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, he said: “First and foremost, even as the contract is terminated, we have enough supplies even for a booster programme.
“We are confident we have the supplies necessary to continue vaccinating.
“It is a blow for the facility and we are very keen and will be reaching out to the company to try to get security and secure a future for that facility – we hope that would be with Valneva.
“Clearly, when it comes to their supposed alleged failure to meet their contract obligations, we obviously are looking for more information from the UK Government and would expect that shortly.”