A SPANISH company is preparing to produce a coronavirus vaccine candidate in the new year. 

Pharmaceutical firm Rovi, based in Madrid,  in charge of the “fill and finish” final stage of manufacturing for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate outside the United States. 

There is no approved COVID-19 vaccine yet, but advanced trials of a vaccine from Modern,  the American biotechnology company, showed that it was safe and provoked an immune response. 

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The Moderna vaccine works by injecting a piece of genetic material, known as RNA, into a person. This provides instructions for the person’s cells to create a protein found on the virus. It is hoped that this will train the body to recognise and fend off the real pathogen if it later becomes infected.

Rovi’s Vice-President, Javier Lopez-Belmonte said: “I don’t know if there will be ingredients in December or January, but (we will start manufacturing) very soon.” 

He added that the company is aiming to start production in early 2021 but declined to give any financial estimates on the vaccine deal  but confirmed it would be “substantial”.

Rovi is planning to fill and pack millions of doses of the vaccine in a new production line in one of its plants in the capital. 

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