Moderna Covid vaccine approved in UK: Third major jab passes regulators in huge boost

Moderna coronavirus vaccine approved for use in the UK

Medical regulators today approved the COVID-19 vaccine for use, the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed. An agreement has been reached to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the shot. The UK now has 17 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine on order, and supplies will begin to be delivered to the UK from the spring.

The jab is the third to be given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), along with the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca.

The MHRA accepted the recommendation of the Commission on Human Medicines and authorised the Moderna vaccine following months of rigorous clinical trials.

The vaccine is 94 percent effective in preventing disease, including in the elderly.

As agreed when the UK originally pre-ordered the vaccine, supplies will begin to be delivered to the UK from spring once Moderna expands its production capability.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “Excellent news – the @MHRAgovuk has approved the use of the @moderna_tx vaccine.

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This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease

Matt Hancock

“Our national vaccine effort is accelerating to vaccinate priority groups with our existing two vaccines, and the Moderna doses will add to that when they become available in spring.”

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.

“We have already vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people across the UK and Moderna’s vaccine will allow us to accelerate our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring.

“While we immunise those most at risk from Covid, I urge everyone to continue following the rules to keep cases low to protect our loved ones.”

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Business Secretary Alok Sharma said he was “delighted” that 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine had been ordered, following news of its approval for use in the UK.

He tweeted: “NEW: the Moderna-tx vaccine is authorised for use in the UK!

“I’m also delighted confirm the beisgovukVaccine Taskforce has today secured a further 10m doses of their vaccine, taking our total order to 17m.

“Another huge step towards ending lockdown and returning to normal life.”

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Amanda Solloway, minister for science, research and innovation, tweeted: “I’m delighted that the moderna-tx vaccine has been authorised for use in the UK, alongside the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines.

“We have now secured 10m more doses, taking our total to 17m.

“Another step forwards in our fight against Covid-19.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said approval of the Moderna vaccine was “great news”.

He tweeted: “Vaccination is obviously now the huge national priority.

“Given the intense pressure the NHS is under it’s vital NHS staff on frontline are vaccinated urgently.”

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The Moderna vaccine works in a very similar way to the jab from Pfizer/BioNTech.

  • Coronavirus is studded with “spike proteins” that it uses to enter human cells. Covid-19 vaccines target this spike protein.
  • The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA), a genetic material that contains information about the spike protein.
  • The vaccines provide the body with instructions to produce a small amount of this protein which, once detected by the immune system, leads to a protective antibody response.
  • Moderna’s vaccine does not require the same ultracold storage as Pfizer’s and can remain stable at normal fridge temperature for 30 days.

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