Moderna Covid vaccine becomes third jab approved for UK use

Moderna Covid vaccine becomes third jab approved for UK use

Mr Hancock said Moderna’s vaccine “will boost our vaccination programme even further once doses become available”.

The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation (JCVI) will submit updated advice on which groups to prioritise for vaccination before doses become available.

Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, hailed the news as “yet another important step towards ending lockdown and returning to normal life”. He highlighted that Britain was one of the first countries in Europe to sign a deal with Moderna and paid tribute to the scientists, trial volunteers, regulators and medics involved in the process.

Is it different to the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines?

The Moderna jab works in a similar way to the Pfizer vaccine, targeting the “spike proteins” that coronavirus uses to enter human cells. 

Both jabs use synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA), genetic material that contains information about the spike protein to instruct the body to produce a small amount of this protein. In this way, it stimulates the immune system to produce a protective antibody response. 

However, unlike the Pfizer jab the Moderna vaccine does not require ultra-cold storage and can remain stable at normal fridge temperature for 30 days.

How will it be rolled out in the UK?

The vaccine will be rolled out through the same channels via which the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines are being delivered.  

This includes hundreds of GP-led vaccine sites and hospital hubs, and from next week seven mass vaccine centres based in sports stadia and other large venues.

Everyone in the country will be within a 10-mile radius of an available vaccine, Mr Johnson pledged on Thursday night, amid growing fears over a postcode lottery.

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