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Coronavirus: Vaccination

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 162591, tabled on 3 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding from the public purse has been spent on covid-19 vaccine (a) manufacturing and (b) research and development since 1 March 2020; if he will make a comparative assessment of the adequacy of that funding spent since 1 March 2020 and the £128 million ringfenced for covid-19 vaccine R&D and manufacturing in Budget 2021; and what proportion of that funding ringfenced in Budget 2021 the Government plans to spend on covid-19 vaccine (i) manufacturing (ii) research and development.

Answered on

8 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 8 March, over 22.2 million individuals have been vaccinated with a first dose.

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

On R&D, we have allocated:

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

On 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 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.

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