The United Kingdom has announced the construction of a vaccine manufacturing unit for a potential solution to the pandemic. UK's Acting High Commissioner to India said that Britain will work with its global partners. The trade secretary said the country was investing in a programme to ensure 'discovery to distribution'.
The United Kingdom has been badly hit by Covid-19. The country has announced ''an investment of £131 million to accelerate the construction of the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) and to establish a rapid deployment facility for vaccine manufacturing this summer''.
In a statement, the British High Commission said that the VMIC will kick next year. ''The additional funding for the VMIC will ensure it opens in Summer 2021, a full 12 months ahead of schedule. The not-for-profit Centre is a key component of the UK's Coronavirus vaccine programme, ensuring that once a vaccine is available it can be produced quickly and in mass quantities. Not only will the VMIC boost the UK's long-term capacity against future viruses, but it will also accelerate the production of vaccines for existing illnesses such as the flu virus'', read the statement.
More than 35000 people have lost their lives due to the deadly virus in the United Kingdom while the total number of affected people is soon to touch 2.5 million. The government said that ''the rapid deployment facility will open this summer, and will support efforts to ensure a vaccine is widely available as soon as possible''. Separate funding of GBP 84 million for vaccines has already been announced and is being developed by Imperial College and the University of Oxford.
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Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, said: "This latest investment reaffirms the UK's global commitment to fight this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with our international partners, including here in India, to find a vaccine and ensure it is rapidly available at scale. As the Prime Minister has said, the search for a coronavirus vaccine is the most urgent shared endeavor of our lifetimes."
UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: "As the biggest contributor to the international coalition to find a vaccine, the UK is leading the global response. Once a breakthrough is made, we need to be ready to manufacture a vaccine by the millions. The new Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre and temporary facility will build 'fill and finish' capacity, bringing the UK vaccine programme together from discovery to distribution."