A petition calling for the French corona vaccine from Valneva to be made available in the Netherlands has been signed almost 2900 times. The petition was launched in mid-November. According to the signatories, the Valneva vaccine developed in France and Austria is a “classic vaccine, which may appeal to a large group of Dutch people who for various reasons have not yet been vaccinated against the corona virus.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced this week that it will monitor studies into the vaccine. This so-called “rolling review” takes place before an official approval process for the vaccine can be started. Because the EMA is already watching, the judgment on the vaccine can be ready more quickly when the application is submitted.
Corona minister Hugo de Jonge wrote in a letter to parliament at the end of November that the Valneva vaccine “is based on the more classic technology of an inactivated piece of the virus”. Valneva neutralizes the virus in the lab and introduces it via vaccination to trigger the body’s defenses. This is a different technique than is used with other vaccines, such as that of Pfizer/BioNTech. Those vaccines contain a piece of genetic code that prompts body cells to make proteins that resemble a protein from the coronavirus. If someone later comes into contact with the virus itself, the immune system recognizes a part of it and that is enough to set the immune system in motion.
As with the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, two doses of Valneva’s vaccine are required. Thierry Baudet, an important face of the anti-vaccination movement, also tweeted on Saturday about Valneva’s vaccine.
“By entering into this agreement, we retain the option to purchase a larger number of doses of this vaccine in 2023, if desired, under the options under this contract,” said the minister. “This could be desirable, for example, if this vaccine proves to be extremely effective against a new variant of this virus.” According to De Jonge, the approval and delivery of the vaccine is expected “in the course of 2022”.