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Moderna vaccine given to first UK recipient in Wales

As Scotland received first batch and England plans to start roll-out shortly

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The UK has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, the third vaccine to be approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Elle Taylor from Ammanford, a 24-year-old unpaid carer, was the first to receive the Moderna vaccine today. She was given the vaccine at the Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, Wales.

The Moderna vaccine is expected to be rolled out in England “in the next few days”, according to Paul Scully, Minister for Small Business, who told Sky News the vaccination programme remained on track to cover all adults in England by the end of July.

Scotland received its first batch on 5 April, and is due to receive more than one million doses in total over the coming months.

More than 31.6 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine, and 5.4 million have been fully vaccinated.

The Moderna vaccine will be administered in two doses, given between four and 12 weeks apart, in the same way as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines that are already in use are being administered.

Speaking about the roll-out of the Moderna vaccine, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "The UK government has secured vaccines on behalf of the entire nation and the vaccination programme has shown our country working together at its best.”

Moderna, similar to Pfizer, has created an RNA vaccine that uses part of the virus’s genetic code that, when injected, can enter cells and instruct them to create antigens. The immune system is able to recognise these antigens, which enables it to prepare to fight the virus.

As no actual virus is needed to create an RNA vaccine, it can be produced more quickly. The Moderna vaccine can also be shipped at -20C, which is closer to the temperatures of a normal freezer and therefore easier to transport than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which needs to be shipped at temperatures of -70C.

A trial of the Moderna vaccine was conducted in the US, with more than 30,000 people taking part from a wide range of age groups and ethnic backgrounds. The results from this trial showed that the Moderna vaccine has 94% efficacy against the virus and 100% efficacy against severe disease.

Article by
Iona Everson

7th April 2021

From: Regulatory

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