A factory in Scotland could help produce 60 million doses of a vaccine for coronavirus.

The facility in West Lothian is expanding as part of a deal to secure the doses of the vaccine candidate developed by French firm Valneva.

Around 75 new jobs are expected to be created due to investment in the Livingston plant from the UK government and the drugs firm.

The Government had struck a deal for early access to Valneva’s “promising” vaccine candidate.

If clinical trials are successful, the site could provide up to 100 million doses.

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Business Secretary Alok Sharma is set to visit the factory today to hear about plans to scale-up production.

Valneva’s vaccine, which is called VLA2001, is one of four potential vaccines which the UK government has secured rights for.

Mr Sharma said: “I’m incredibly grateful to our highly-skilled scientists and technicians in Livingston who are supporting the global effort to research, develop and manufacture a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine.

HeraldScotland:

“The multimillion-pound upfront investment we have agreed with Valneva today means that their vaccine can be manufactured in quantity right here in Scotland.

“If clinical trials are successful, millions of people in priority groups across the UK will be protected by their life-saving vaccine.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: “We are doing everything possible to keep people in all parts of the UK safe as we tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

“The UK government is purchasing millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine for distribution across all parts of the UK.

“A safe and effective vaccine is vital to the long-term protection against the virus we need.

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“I’m particularly pleased that Scotland’s world-class research sector is playing such an important role in developing a much-needed vaccine.”

Valneva said the final supply agreement would be concluded in the coming weeks.

Chief financial officer David Lawrence said: “We are delighted to receive initial funding from UK government to support the expansion of our Covid-19 vaccine manufacturing facilities.

“We are thrilled that the Secretary of State has made the time to travel to Livingston and to visit our site, it’s a real sign of the Government’s commitment.”