A TYPE of coronavirus vaccine which is set to be manufactured in the UK produces a “strong immune response”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Data from a study involving more than 150 people showed promising results, paving the way for a phase three clinical trial. 

Recipients of the jab received it safely while it was generally well-tolerated with no safety concerns identified by an independent data safety monitoring board.

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The company said the results showed the vaccine was “highly immunogenic with more than 90 per cent of all study participants developing significant levels of antibodies” to the Covid virus spike protein.

The vaccine also induced T-cell responses, which help the body fend off a virus and play a role in long-lasting immunity.

Mr Hancock said: “The UK Government has funded these clinical trials and it is fantastic to see Valneva’s vaccine produces a strong immune response.

“This vaccine will be made onshore in Livingston in Scotland, giving another boost to British life science, and if approved will play an important role in protecting our communities.

“I look forward to seeing the results of the upcoming phase three trial.”

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Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “These results are very promising and provide renewed hope that a vaccine using a whole inactivated virus might provide strong protection against variants.

“If the results from the phase three clinical trials are positive and the vaccine meets the robust standards of safety, quality and effectiveness of our medicines regulator, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), this will be another powerful weapon in our arsenal to beat this pandemic.”

Clive Dix, chairman of the Vaccines Taskforce, said: “These are great results from Valneva, particularly around the antibody and cellular responses generated and low numbers of adverse events, as these indicate good levels of immune responses among the participants to date.

“The findings of 100% levels of immunogenicity against the viral spike protein in the high-dose group is also encouraging.

“Inactivated virus vaccines are proven technologies that are often able to induce wide-ranging immune responses, and these promising data indicate that (Valneva) may continue this trend.”