Valneva says UK rollout of COVID-19 vaccine could start in July-Sept - report

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FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a medical syringe and a small bottle labelled "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine

LONDON (Reuters) - French drugmaker Valneva hopes its COVID-19 vaccine can start to be used in Britain between July and September, the company's chief executive was quoted as saying.

Valneva has agreed to provide Britain with 60 million doses of its vaccine, compared with 100 million doses of the shot from AstraZeneca and Oxford University. It is expected to need a two-dose regimen.

"We are days away from starting the commercial manufacturing," Thomas Lingelbach told The Mail on Sunday newspaper.

"We cannot release it without regulatory approval so we're in a little bit of a Catch-22 situation and there are certainly scenarios that we are currently discussing with the regulators," he added. "But we have already signed up to give priority to the UK and this is something we're currently working on."

Valneva said in September that its vaccine would be available for use in Britain in the second half of 2021.

Britain has launched Europe's fastest rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and its foreign minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday the government hoped to ease some lockdown restrictions in March.

(Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Pravin Char)