In a further boost for vaccine development and manufacturing, the UK has announced an investment of £131 million to accelerate construction of the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) and to establish a rapid deployment facility for vaccine manufacturing this summer.
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, it will also accelerate the production of vaccines for existing illnesses such as the flu virus.
While the Centre is being built, the rapid deployment facility will open this summer, and will support efforts to ensure a vaccine is widely available as soon as possible.
The UK has separately announced new funding of £84 million for vaccines being developed by the University of Oxford and Imperial College London.