UK PM Johnson disappointed Valneva COVID-19 shot did not gain approval

·2-min read

LONDON (Reuters) -British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he was disappointed that Valneva's COVID-19 vaccine had not gained approval in Britain, two months after the government cancelled a supply deal worth 1.4 billion euro ($1.57 billion) for the shot.

Health minister Sajid Javid had said commercial considerations played into the decision, but added it was clear Valneva's shot would not be approved in Britain.

His statement was later corrected to say that the shot had not gained approval and may not gain it.

Valneva said in a statement it hoped for approval by the end of the year and was working with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the independent medicines regulator.

The MHRA said Valneva had initiated a rolling review, which was ongoing.

"Due to commercial confidentiality we are unable to provide details of our review," a spokesperson said.

Johnson told lawmakers on Wednesday he was "personally very disappointed when we couldn't get approval for the Valneva vaccine in the way that we had hoped".

"What we are doing is investing massively in this country's vaccine capability across the country so that we are prepared for the next pandemic and I very much hope that Valneva will be part of that," he said.

Before cancelling the supply deal in September, Britain had secured options for hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine and earlier this month, Valneva secured a 60 million dose supply deal with the European Commission.

"We regret the decision made by HMG (UK government) to end the UK Government's supply contract with Valneva, and remain hopeful that HMG will seek an amicable resolution," the Valneva statement said.

($1 = 0.8929 euros)

(Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Elizabeth Piper, Paul Sandle and Barbara Lewis)

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