A LIVINGSTON factory will have 75 new jobs created as part of a new deal to secure 60 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

The investment was announced yesterday by the UK Government in partnership with global biotech company Valneva, who have developed the promising vaccine.

The site could provide up to 100 million doses of the vaccine across the UK and internationally if clinical trials prove to be successful.

The factory in West Lothian was visited by UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma yesterday.

Valneva’s vaccine, which is called VLA2001, is one of four potential vaccines which the UK Government has secured rights for.

Sharma said: “I’m incredibly grateful to our highly-skilled scientists and technicians in Livingston who are supporting the global effort to research, develop and manufacture a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.

“The multimillion-pound upfront investment we have agreed with Valneva today means that their vaccine can be manufactured in quantity right here in Scotland.

“If clinical trials are successful, millions of people in priority groups across the UK will be protected by their life-saving vaccine.”

Following his visit, Sharma said that a potential vaccine from AstraZeneca was “ahead of the pack in terms of clinical trials”, but added: “It is entirely possible to imagine that you have a number of potential vaccines, but they are deployed in different parts of the population.”

The minister also added there was “no guarantee” that any attempt to find a working vaccination would be effective.

Asked about the timeline for when a potential vaccine could be available, he said: “Ultimately, we’ll just have to see where any of these vaccines come out in terms of their efficacy.”

Scottish Secretary of State Alister Jack praised the new development. He said: “We are doing everything possible to keep people in all parts of the UK safe as we tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

“The UK Government is purchasing millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine for distribution across all parts of the UK.”

Valneva chief financial officer David Lawrence said: “We are delighted to receive initial funding from UK Government to support the expansion of our Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing facilities.”