The northeastern city became notorious in the early months of the pandemic as the destination for Johnson’s aid lockdown day trip Dominic Cummings.
Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will supply ‘fill and finish’ manufacturing capability to its Barnard Castle plant in north-east England from May.
Boris Johnson said the agreement between GSK, Novavax and the UK government’s vaccine task force “will further boost the deployment of our vaccines.”
He said in a Downing Street briefing that this would mean “between 50 and 60 million doses of vaccine made in the UK, subject to proper MHRA approvals.”
And he said there was no need for people to worry about a Pfizer vaccine shortage for a second dose.
He said: “There is no need to worry about the Pfizer shortage for the second dose as far as we can see at this time.
“We’re going to continue to roll out that and deliver that, and like I said April will be the second month of the dose.
“It is very important that everyone gets their second dose. ”
“Fill and finish” is the stage of completing vaccine manufacture, preparing the final vaccine vials and packaging them for distribution and use.
The Barnard Castle GSK site is a dedicated facility in GSK’s global manufacturing network that supports the production of GSK pharmaceutical and vaccine products.
The UK government has secured 60 million doses of the vaccine under an early purchase agreement with Novavax.
The protein antigen component of NVX-CoV2373 is also produced in the North East of England by Novavax’s manufacturing partner, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, at their site in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees.
Mr Johnson said: “I am delighted with the investment from GSK, which shows the strength of manufacturing in the UK, and will further drive the deployment of our vaccines.
“The Vaccine Working Group has worked hand in hand with companies to successfully deliver vaccines across the UK and this agreement will continue to support our approach.
“We remain on track to deliver a first vaccine to everyone over 50 by April 15, and to all adults by the end of July, and I want to encourage everyone to come forward again. for a vaccine when called.
Roger Connor, President of GSK Vaccines, said: “GSK is delighted to support Novavax and the UK Vaccine Working Group with this UK manufacturing agreement and our Barnard Castle plant is currently undertaking rapid readiness work. needed for this vaccine.
“We have made sure that we can deliver these volumes without affecting the supply of our other life-saving medicines and vaccines, and without disrupting other Covid-19 collaborations in which GSK is engaged globally.
Earlier this month, the company behind the Novavax jab announced that it was 86% effective against the Kent variant and 96% effective in preventing cases caused by the original strain of the coronavirus.
According to the results of the phase three trial in the UK, the vaccine offers 100% protection against serious illness, including all hospitalizations and death.