Moderna vaccine becomes third jab approved for use in UK
The Moderna vaccine has become the third coronavirus jab to be approved for use in the UK – with an additional 10 million doses ordered.
The US-based company’s vaccine was shown to have 94% efficacy against COVID-19 in final trials.
Seven million doses had already been ordered by the government, with a further 10 million expected to follow, however, it will more than likely not become available until March.
This is because it is being manufactured in the US at first, and will take a few months before manufacturing facilities in Europe will be ready to distribute.
Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, whilst speaking on the news about the vaccine, said it was:
“Another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease”.
“Boost our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring”.
The Moderna vaccine has already been taken by US vice president-elect, Kamala Harris.
According to Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, when the vaccines arrive in the UK, they will:
“Help to ease any bottlenecks or delays in the administration programme”.
The UK was the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and has since also begun rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
On Thursday, PM Boris Johnson said 1.26 million jabs had been given in England, 113,000 in Scotland, 49,000 in Wales, and 46,000 in Northern Ireland.
The government has set a target to deliver first doses to 15 million of the most vulnerable by 15th February.
The Moderna vaccine is much easier to distribute than the Pfizer jab, which must be stored at about -70C to maintain optimal efficacy.
It has been shown to last for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperature for up to 12 hours, and remains stable at -20C, equal to most household or medical freezers, for up to six months.