By Chris King • 29 March 2021 • 19:15
Novavax Doses To Be Made In Britain After Brussels Snub.
NOVAVAX Doses To Be Made In Britain After The Company Snubbed Brussels Last Week
Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced big news today (Monday 29) in his press conference, that the Vaccine Task Force has closed an agreement with the American pharmaceutical company Novavax to produce 60 million doses of the vaccine in the UK, through GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
This is a huge deal for the UK, especially coming a week after Novavax had backed down, and delayed signing any deal with the EU.
Novavax’s manufacturing partner, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, has a site in the north-east of England, in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, where they produce the protein antigen component of NVX-CoV2373, which helps defeat the virus.
British Drugs manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will carry out the “fill and finish”, which is the completion stage of vaccine manufacturing, preparing vials of the final vaccine and packaging them for distribution and use, with supplies scheduled to be ready by May possibly.
In his news conference, Mr Johnson said, “At the same time as we push forwards with our programme to offer a vaccination to all adults by the end of July we’re building up our own long-term UK manufacturing capabilities. I’ve already told you that Novavax – a potentially significant new weapon in our armoury against Covid – is going to be made at Fujifilm in the North East”.
“And I can today announce that the Vaccine Task Force has reached an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline to finish and bottle this precious fluid also in the North East giving us between 50 and 60 million doses of UK made vaccine subject to the right approvals from the MHRA”, he added.
The timing of this announcement is bound to cause ripples in Brussels, after the rollout of vaccines in Europe has caused a lot of arguments among member states, whereas Britain has already vaccinated an estimated 57 per cent of the adult population with the first dose, compared to only 10 per cent in Europe.
Novavax is understandably nervous about doing business with the EU after the way they fell out with AstraZeneca, and last week, a source told The Sun, “You can’t blame the company for being cautious after seeing the punishment beating given to AstraZeneca over the past few weeks,” a source told The Sun last week”.
Adding, “They are clearly unwilling to line themselves up as the new scapegoats for the EU’s failings. There are many more countries who want to do business”, as reported by express.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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