A FACTORY in West Lothian is preparing to deliver 60 million Covid-19 vaccines by next year as part of a £1.3 billion deal with the UK Government.

Valneva is to produce a total of 190 million doses of its experimental drug VLA20001 – if the vaccine development proves successful – at its facility in Livingston over the next five years, having reached the agreement.

The vaccine is expected to enter the clinic by December and first regulatory approval could be granted in the second half of 2021.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Having visited Valneva just last month, I have seen first-hand the incredible work they are doing to develop and manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine. This new agreement could help us vaccinate millions of people across the country, as well as help create a UK vaccine manufacturing facility to speed up access to a potential Covid-19 candidate and boost the country’s resilience against future pandemics.”

The vaccine is expected to have a two-dose regimen.

Thomas Lingelbach, CEO of Valneva, said: “We made the early decision to choose a proven and well-established inactivated vaccine approach which is further validated by this partnership.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by the UK Government and are eager to partner with them to address this terrible ongoing pandemic.”