Britain’s vaccine rollout stormed ahead again today as the first major trials of a jab being mass-produced in Scotland Reveals “fantastic” results.

The Valneva dose produced significant levels of antibodies in nine out of 10 patients and also triggered a response from T-cells, suggesting it will be effective.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed the news as “really encouraging”.

Britain has secured 100 million doses of the French-designed vaccine, which looks set to get approval for use in the UK by June.  It will be used both for the first wave of vaccinations and for booster jabs next year. Investment in production in this country means it cannot be hijacked by the European Union.

The trials found the jab to be “generally safe and well-tolerated” across all the groups tested, with no safety concerns identified.

Thomas Lingelbach, boss of Valneva, said the vaccine could be modified to tackle new variants of Covid-19.  “The world needs multiple vaccines as well as booster options,” he said.

Mr Hancock said: “It is fantastic to see Valneva’s vaccine produces a strong immune response.”

Meanwhile, it was reported that the UK’s medicines regulatory body is considering restricting the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine among people under 30 because of concern about a risk of rare blood clots.

Channel 4 News said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) could make a decision today.

The MHRA’s chief executive Dr June Raine said yesterday no decision had been made. “Our thorough and detailed review is ongoing into reports of very rare and specific types of blood clots with low platelets following the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca,” she said. “No decision has yet been made on any regulatory action.”

Government sources believe any risk is more than outweighed by the life-saving success of the vaccine, which saved an estimated 6,000 lives in its first two months.

Source: Evening Standard

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