Tens of millions of doses of the Novavax vaccine are to be produced in the North East for use in the UK, the prime minister has announced.
Boris Johnson said a deal had been agreed with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to support the manufacturing of up to 60 million doses of the vaccine, which is yet to be approved.
They will be manufactured at the Fujifilm plant in Stockton-on-Tees.
GSK will finish and bottle them at its facility in Barnard Castle.
The pharmaceutical giant said it hoped the “fill and finish” processing can begin as early as May.
Novavax is currently being assessed by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
The biotech company behind it, also called Novavax, recently announced its vaccine was 86% effective against the Kent variant of Covid-19 and 96% effective in preventing cases caused by the original strain.
Mr Johnson said: “I’m delighted by GSK’s investment, which shows the strength of UK manufacturing, and will further boost our vaccine rollout.
“The Vaccines Taskforce has worked hand in glove with business to successfully deliver vaccines to the whole of the UK, and this agreement will continue to support our approach.
News Source: BBC News