A £100 million vaccine facility will be set up in Braintree as part of the Government's plans to fight coronavirus.

The Government is spending the cash in the hope the state-of-the-art facility will be able to mass produce a vaccine to the deadly coronavirus.

It is also hoped the centre will be able to work on vaccines for similar viruses and infections.

The news was announced back in July.

Here is what we know about it and when it will be ready.

What’s the new facility for?

It is hoped the centre will be able to produce millions of coronavirus vaccines a month when one is found.

But the Government also hopes the new centre will increase the UK’s ability to respond to diseases such as coronavirus and prepare for potential future pandemics, while creating new, high-skilled jobs to fuel the UK’s economic recovery.

It is hoped the new centre will also be at the forefront of the growing UK cell and gene therapy industry.

The Government is spending an additional £4.7million on new training facilities and an online learning platform to boost vaccine and cell and gene therapy skills.

Where will it be based?

The centre will be based in Warner Drive on the Springwood Industrial Estate.

Braintree and Witham Times:

Benchmark Vaccines’ current site will essentially be upgraded and see the company work with the Government and other leading scientists.

The upgrade will create a fully licensed manufacturing centre.

When will it open?

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Innovation Centre will officially be ready by December 2021.

The new centre will complement the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre currently being built in Oxfordshire.

Braintree and Witham Times:

What will it mean for Braintree?

The new centre will, according to the town’s MP, help put Braintree at the centre of the UK’s health strategy in the coming years.

James Cleverly also hopes it will provide economic benefits for the town in general.

He said in a statement on Facebook: “The new centre will be key for the UK’s response to current and future diseases like coronavirus.

“Between the centre in Braintree and the Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre under construction in Oxfordshire, we will have the capacity to produce enough vaccines to serve to entire UK population."

What progress is being made with a vaccine for Covid-19?

There is a “slim” chance that the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine could be ready before Christmas, the chairwoman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce has said.

Kate Bingham said she was “hopeful” of getting trial data from the Oxford study, as well as the vaccine from Pfizer BionNTech, before the end of the year.

Both studies are currently in phase 3 clinical trials, meaning that the vaccine has been given to thousands of participants to check its safety and effectiveness – the final stage before researchers submit their data to regulators for approval.

Ms Bingham said that she felt “optimistic” from the positive data seen so far.

New laws allowing more healthcare workers to administer flu and potential Covid-19 vaccines have been introduced by the Government.

The measures will help in the UK-wide deployment of Covid-19 vaccines once they have been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Department of Health and Social Care (DCHC) said.

The changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 came into force on Friday, following a public consultation.