Coronavirus Updates: Scotland’s Covid vaccine becomes fifth jab to enter clinical trials in UK

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UK Coronavirus vaccines: Are we on target to end lockdown?
UK Coronavirus vaccines: Are we on target to end lockdown?

Clinical trials kicked off on Wednesday for an ‘old school’ coronavirus vaccine being developed and manufactured in Scotland, the fifth jab to be tested in the UK.

The Government has already secured 60 million doses of the Covid-19 shot, which is being developed by French biotech Valneva at its facility in Livingston, West Lothian.

Early phase one trials began today in Bristol and, come the new year, will be expanded to three other National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) testing sites in Birmingham, Newcastle and Southampton.

In total some 150 volunteers will be involved in the phase one and two trials in the UK, which aim to identify whether the vaccine produces a safe and effective immune response. The company hopes that the vaccine will be available by the end of next year, if all goes to plan.

Unlike front runners including the Pfizer-BioNTech jab – which is already being rolled out in the UK and won plaudits for its use of state-of-the-art technology – the team behind the Valneva candidate is betting on a traditional “inactivated” vaccine, of the sort being pursued by China.

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