Regulators in the UK have announced that a new COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for adults aged 18 to 50. The vaccine is manufactured by Velneva – which is based in Livingston near Edinburgh – and has proven to be safe and effective in clinical trials.
The Valneva jab uses more traditional technology to protect against COVID-19. Unlike the vaccines currently available, such as Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca, this vaccine works in a similar way to older shots like polio and flu, which have been used for decades.
It contains an inactivated copy of the virus, which means it can’t cause a real infection, but it helps the body learn how to fight one if it happens.
The clinical trials have shown that Valneva’s vaccine is extremely effective. Blood test results from the volunteers involved had high levels of neutralizing antibodies.
This is the sixth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in the UK, and it has outperformed AstraZeneca in tests. Additionally, experts have pointed out that this type of vaccine could be more effective against new variants, as it uses the whole virus rather than the spike protein.
As with the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, it is given in two doses, which need to be taken at least 28 days apart. According to the Commission on Human Medicines, there is a positive benefit to risk balance for those in the 18 to 50 age group.
Prof Adam Finn who ran the trials said: “On behalf of all the participants in the clinical trials which underpinned this authorization, which was conducted in the UK, and all of the clinical and laboratory teams involved, I’d like to express our delight that this vaccine has now been approved. This vaccine has an important role to play in the ongoing global effort to combat the pandemic.”
Dr. June Raine, chief executive of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said the approval followed “a rigorous review of the safety, quality, and effectiveness of this vaccine”.