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Coronavirus: Vaccination

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 162590, tabled on 3 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what proportion of the £6 billion of additional funding for vaccine development and procurement announced in Budget 2021 will be spent on (a) research and development, (b) manufacturing and (c) procurement; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

12 March 2021

The UK was the first country in the world to procure, authorise, and start a vaccination programme using the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. The Government has secured access to 457 million doses, across eight different vaccine developers. As of 11 March, over 22.8 million individuals have been vaccinated with a first dose in the UK.

At the Spending Review 2020, the Government announced it had made available more than £6 billion in total to develop, manufacture, and procure COVID-19 vaccines. Of that, we confirmed £733 million in 2021-22 to purchase successful vaccines and £128 million for research and development (R&D) and vaccines manufacturing. Further funding will be allocated from the COVID-19 reserve as needed.

For R&D, we have invested:

  • £33.6 million for the Human Challenge Programme.
  • £20 million to the University of Oxford to fund clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Over £40 million to Imperial College London for the development of its vaccine.

At Budget 2021, the Government announced funding of:

  • £28 million to increase the UK’s capacity for vaccine testing, support for clinical trials, and to improve the UK’s ability to rapidly acquire samples of new variants of COVID-19.
  • £22 million for a world-leading study to test the effectiveness of combinations of different COVID-19 vaccines. This will also fund the world’s first study assessing the effectiveness of a third dose of vaccine to improve the response against current and future variants of COVID-19.
  • A further £5 million on top of a previous £9 million investment in clinical-scale mRNA manufacturing, to create a ‘library’ of vaccines that will work against COVID-19 variants for possible rapid response deployment.

For manufacturing, the Government has invested over £300 million to secure and scale-up the UK’s manufacturing capabilities to be able to respond to the pandemic. This includes:

a) Facilities that have come online:

  • £4.7 million for skills training through the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network, which will be delivered through both virtual and physical centres.
  • £8.75 million for the set-up of the rapid deployment facility at Oxford Biomedica in Oxfordshire.
  • £65.5 million for the early manufacture of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Funding for fill and finish capabilities through a contract with Wockhardt in Wrexham, North Wales which is currently providing fill and finish capabilities to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

b) Facilities that will come online later this year, to help provide longer-term UK capacity:

  • £93 million to accelerate the completion and expanded role of the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Oxfordshire.
  • £127 million for the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult in Braintree, Essex.

In addition to the above, we have also funded the expansion of the Valneva factory in Livingston, Scotland.