The UK has ordered 2m more doses of the Moderna vaccine - but when will we get it?

Monday, 30th November 2020, 1:04 pm
Updated Monday, 30th November 2020, 1:38 pm

The UK Government has secured an order of an additional two million doses of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Earlier in November, the vaccine was found to give nearly 95 per cent protection against the virus.

The new order brings the total number of Moderna vaccine doses arriving to the UK to seven million. This is enough for 3.5 million people in the UK, as the vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective.

When are we likely to get the Moderna vaccine?

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The vaccine has yet to be approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), but the jab could begin to be given out in the spring of 2021.

Moderna has said it expects to provide the US government (which helped fund the research) with 20 million doses by the end of the year. In 2021, it intends to produce between 500 million and one billion doses globally.

What do we know about the vaccine?

According to data released by Moderna earlier in November, the vaccine is 94.5 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 among infected individuals. Its two injections should be administered 28 days apart from each other.

A total of 30,000 people have been enrolled in the firm's ongoing phase three trial. The efficacy rate is based on independent analysis of 95 infections recorded among the trial. The trial included elderly participants, people with underlying health conditions, and people from diverse communities.

The Moderna vaccine did not report any significant safety consumers, and any side effects would be mild and moderate in severity. This could include, fatigue, pain around the site of injection or headaches.

What other vaccines have the UK ordered?

The UK currently has close to 100 million doses on order of the Oxford and AstraZeneca jab. Interim analysis of the vaccine showed it was 70.4 per cent effective. The result was combining data from two dosing regimes, with a two dose regime delivering 90 per cent efficiency, or 62 per cent from one dose.

This vaccine could be rolled out by the end of the year if approved by the MHRA.

The UK also has 40 million doses of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine on order. The joint German and US produced vaccine was the first to announce successful trials, with results showing around 95 per cent efficiency in combating the virus.

UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said, “Every week, we are getting more positive news about the range of vaccines in development, and thanks to the work of our taskforce the UK has pre-ordered more hundreds of millions of doses from those companies most advanced in their work.

“With a wide range of vaccine candidates in our portfolio, we stand ready to deploy a vaccine should they receive approval from our medicines regulator, starting with those who will benefit most."