THE OXFORD AstraZeneca vaccine started being given to patients across the UK earlier this month - but where is the vaccine made?

In December the UK's vaccine task force said the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, used in the initial rollout of the vaccine would be manufactured in Europe. 

The first dose of the vaccines that have been used in the UK were manufactured in the Netherlands and Germany.

Ian McCubbin, manufacturing lead for the task force, however, has said that the 'vast, vast majority' of the total AstraZeneca vaccine will be made in the UK.

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Mr McCubbin said: “The initial supply - and it's a little bit of a quirk of the programme - actually comes from the Netherlands and Germany.

"But once that's supplied, which we expect will be all by the end of this year, then the remainder of the supply will be a UK supply chain."

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is now being manufactured in three factories across the UK.

Two of these factories are located in England - one in Oxford and one in Keele.

Another factory producing the Covid jabs in Leiden, in the Netherlands. 

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After the vaccine is produced, it is transported to specialist distribution sites where the vaccine is divided into vials.

These distribution sites are located in Wales and in Germany. 

When the Oxford vaccine was approved last year by the UK regulator, the Government invested £100million into a vaccine manufacturing facility.

The Government said: “The UK Government invested £100 million to fund a state-of-the-art manufacturing innovation centre in Braintree, Essex, in collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, to accelerate the mass production of a successful Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.

“Due to open in December 2021, the Centre will have the capacity to produce millions of doses of vaccines each month, ensuring the UK has the capabilities to manufacture both vaccines and advanced medicines, including for emerging diseases, far into the future.”

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Last week, emergency teams were called out to protect supplies of the Oxford University and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine following flooding at a manufacturing site in Wales.

Excess water surrounded buildings at Wockhardt’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on Wrexham Industrial Estate during heavy rainfall caused by Storm Christoph.

The leader of Wrexham County Borough, Mark Pritchard, said that authorities worked through the night' to ensure that the site was not overwhelmed by floodwater.