A THIRD vaccine produced in the US will be rolled out to Brits by the end of April – as the UK expands jab offers to under-50s.
After trials on more than 30,000 people showed the Moderna vaccine to be 94 percent effective against Covid-19, today (Sunday March 28) Oliver Dowden hinted UK supplies could be rolled out as early as next month.
Where is the Moderna vaccine made?
Biotech company Moderna was founded in 2010 and was formerly named ModeRNA Therapeutics.
The company is part of the US government's Operation Warp Speed programme and is owned by shareholders.
Noubar Afeyan is co-founder and chairman of Moderna.
Moderna is using a relatively new facility in Norwood, Massachusetts to make the vaccine.
What other medicines and vaccines does Moderna produce?
Moderna's medicines include development candidates for mRNA-based vaccines and therapies spanning several therapeutic areas.
It uses mRNA to spur the body to produce its own therapeutic proteins.
Moderna calls mRNA “the software of life”.
How effective is the Moderna Covid vaccine?
The Moderna vaccine was hailed as "tremendously exciting" when the US pharmaceutical company posted its phase three clinical trial results in November.
Its trial involved more than 30,000 people, half of whom received the vaccine and the other half received a placebo.
The vaccine demonstrated a 94.1 per cent efficacy in the trial and 90.9 per cent efficacy in participants at risk of severe Covid-19.
"We are going to have a vaccine that can stop Covid-19," Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in a telephone interview.
In Britain, Ministers have pre-ordered 17million doses of the Moderna vaccine.
A government source said: “The timing couldn’t be better. It will be arriving in only modest amounts but will keep the programme ticking over.
When did the Moderna vaccine get UK approval and when will it be available in Britain?
The Moderna vaccine was given UK approval in January.
It was then reported how supplies of the vaccine would not be available for NHS use until the spring after Moderna expanded its production capability,
That's because it's being manufactured in the States first and will take a few months before facilities in Europe are ready to distribute, the Department of Health said.
But today (March 28, 2021) Oliver Dowden has confirmed the Moderna jab will be rolled out to Brits by the end of April as offers are expanded to under-50s,
The Culture Secretary said the US-manufactured jab could arrive in the UK "later this month" in a huge boost for the vaccination programme.
Seven million doses of the US-based company's vaccine had already been ordered but the Government announced in January that an additional 10 million have been purchased.
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.
It follows a report in the Mail on Sunday which claimed doctors would begin using the Moderna vaccine in just three weeks.
Asked about the Moderna jab, Mr Dowden told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "We don't get into supply chains but the Health Secretary has indicated that he would expect later this month we would start to see Moderna.
"We do expect the Moderna vaccine to come later this month."
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