It’s now clear that the UK Government’s decision to cancel the order for 100 million doses of the Valneva vaccine, to be produced in Livingston, near Edinburgh, has been a major error.
Professors Adam Finn of the JCVI and Calum Semple of SAGE, have said in the last two days there is a ‘strong theoretical argument’ that the Valneva jab could provide protection against the Botswana variant.
The new Omicron variant is known to have mutated dramatically in its protein spike, by which it penetrates human cells and, crucially, by which it is recognised by the human immune defences and targeted by all of the vaccines currently in use in the UK.
In sharp contrast, the Valneva vaccine, by introducing a whole but inactivated coronavirus into the human body, enables the immune system to recognise the whole virus as foreign and not just the spike proteins. This will give a much broader immune response and increase the memory cells that can recognise different parts of the virus should the vaccinated individual become infected with the real coronavirus.
Why was the contract cancelled?
Savid Javid quoted ‘commercial reasons’ and claimed the JCVI would not approve it but it’s recognised globally
They cancelled it around the time of their spats with the French over fishing and nuclear subs for Oz and, of course, trying to keep Nicola in her box at COP26
And were they still in the huff over how the EU delayed the AZ approval?