The UK’s first dedicated vaccine-making facility is building capacity to produce “tens of millions” of doses to guard against coronavirus by the end of next year.
Plans for the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre, a not-for-profit organisation part-funded by the taxpayer, were first drawn up in 2017 to strengthen Britain’s vaccine development and manufacturing capability.
The centre was not due for completion until 2022 but the project was fast-tracked by ministers last month amid growing fears over Britain’s current capacity to produce vaccines.
Matthew Duchars, chief executive of VMIC, said: “Three months ago things changed somewhat and we now find ourselves in a position of wanting to accelerate both the build of the facility, expand its capacity and also be closely involved in the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.
“We’ve been looking at how we can accelerate and compress what normally takes years down into a period of months.”