Valneva COVID-19 vaccine: What do we know about it?



VLA2001, a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Valneva, a French biotechnology company, using traditional methods, has now received conditional marketing authorization in the United Kingdom. Could it prove more acceptable to the vaccine hesitant, be more effective against new variants, or improve the situation in low-income countries? Medical News Today looks at the evidence.

Share on PinterestWhat is there to know about Valneva, the new COVID-19 vaccine approved in the United Kingdom? Image credit: Ayman Yaqoob/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

With more than 6.2 million deaths and close to 510 million cases confirmed worldwide by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has wrought a heavy toll.

In high-income countries, such as the United StatesTrusted Source and the United KingdomTrusted Source, although case rates remain high, vaccination has been effective in reducing hospitalizations and deaths.

Around the world, COVID-19 vaccines have been and are being authorized. Across European countries, five vaccines have gained use authorization: Pfizer, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), and Novavax.

In the U.S.Trusted Source, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson have so far received authorization or approval for use.

Now, the U.K. Medicines Regulatory and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted regulatory approval for the use of a new COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the French biotechnology company Valneva.

The vaccine

This vaccine, VLA2001, uses a method that may be considered more traditionalTrusted Source — an inactivated virusTrusted Source — as used in vaccines for polio, hepatitis A, rabies, and influenza.

Valneva, like other COVID-19 vaccines such as Sinopharm, uses inactivated whole virus particles of SARS-CoV-2, as well as adjuvant substances. An inactivated virus cannot replicate and cause disease, but exposure to the inactivated viral particles in the vaccine allows the body’s immune system to learn to recognize and react to the virusTrusted Source that causes COVID-19, as it happens with other types of vaccines.

The MHRA granted conditional marketing authorization for the Valneva vaccine on April 14, 2022, for adults aged 18-50 — the first European country to do so.