Oct. 20, 2021

Valneva SE, a French vaccine company, announced results from its Phase 3 trial of its inactivated Covid-19 vaccine candidate, VLA2001. They said that the vaccine was as effective as the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.


  • VLA2001 is an inactivated, adjuvanted vaccine. This means that it delivers the whole Sars-CoV-2 virus in an inactivated form. The virus is killed using chemicals, heat, or radiation. The dead virus cannot infect us but can still trigger an immune response.

  • Polio and flu vaccines are common examples of inactivated vaccines. India’s Covaxin is also an inactivated vaccine.

Comparison with Other vaccines

  • Currently, none of the vaccines in the UK – Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, – are inactivated vaccines. Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech are mRNA vaccines. They contain the code of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and once inside the body teach our body to produce the spike protein.

  • Our immune system recognises this and initiates an immune response against Covid-19.

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine delivers the code of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein using a carrier – another virus called adenovirus.