The Coronavirus vaccine made by biotechnology company Moderna has been approved for use in the UK.
It is the third vaccine to be approved for use in the UK and will likely boost the UK’s mass vaccination programme, which is aiming to vaccinate millions of people against the virus in the coming months to try and allow some return to pre-pandemic normality.
In final trials, the vaccine showed 94 efficacy against COVID-19.
The UK has pre-ordered 7 million doses of the vaccine with 10 million more doses to follow, though supplies are not expected to be available until the Spring.
On Thursday, Moderna’s chief executive said that the vaccine is likely to offer protection of up to a couple of years, though more data is still needed to make a more definitive assessment of the vaccine’s efficacy over time.
The vaccine was approved for use in the EU by the European Commission on Wednesday.
The Moderna vaccine is similar to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, though only requires storing at around -20C for shipping.
The news of the vaccine’s approval in the UK comes as the UK is rapidly scaling up its vaccination programme. 1.5 million people in the UK have already received a first dose of either the Oxford/AstraZeneca or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with the Government aiming to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcome the news of the vaccine’s approval, describing it as ‘another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.’