UK set to approve third coronavirus vaccine with millions of doses prepared

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The UK has approved the Moderna coronavirus vaccine – making three jabs available to Brits.

The EU and the US had already cleared the jab, and the UK has ordered 17 million doses.

However, the Government does not expect them to be delivered until later this year, most likely in March.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.

"We have already vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people across the UK and Moderna's vaccine will allow us to accelerate our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring.

"While we immunise those most at risk from Covid, I urge everyone to continue following the rules to keep cases low to protect our loved ones."

The Moderna vaccine is easier to distribute than the Pfizer jab, which needs to be stored around -70C.

However, it is being manufactured in the US and it will take a few months before European facilities can distribute it.

It 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.

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The MHRA accepted the recommendation of the Commission on Human Medicines and authorised it following months of rigorous clinical trials.

The vaccine is 94% effective in preventing disease, including in the elderly.

The Government has also agreed to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the Moderna vaccine on top of its previous order of seven million, taking the total to 17 million.

As agreed when the UK originally pre-ordered the vaccine, supplies will begin to be delivered to the UK from spring once Moderna expands its production capability.

  • Coronavirus

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