By Ahmed Rahma
The United Kingdom government has approved the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, making it the third vaccine approved for use in the country.
The US-based company’s vaccine, which was shown to have 94 per cent efficacy against coronavirus in the final trial, was welcomed by Health Secretary, Mr Matt Hancock.
He disclosed that seven million doses had already been ordered by the UK government with a further 10 million expected to follow, but it will likely not become available until March.
The Health Secretary explained that this is because it is being manufactured in the US at first, and will take a few months before manufacturing facilities in Europe will be ready for distribution.
Speaking on the jab, Mr Hancock called it “another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease,” adding that this will boost the counry’s vaccination programme even further once doses become available from March.
However, he urged the people to continue abiding by the rules to lower the number of cases.
“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 health secretary said.
The American authorities, whose Food and Drug Administration based its decision on results from a late-stage study of 30,000 volunteers, have also approved the Moderna vaccine.
The Moderna vaccine was taken by US vice president-elect Kamala Harris at the end of December on live television to prove its safety.
According to a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, Dr Micheal Head, when the vaccines arrive in Britain, they will “help to ease any bottlenecks or delays in the administration programme”.
He added that “the jabs’ early usage in the US and other countries have been successful with no significant issues raised in terms of safety”.
The UK was the first country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and has since also begun the rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
On Thursday, the British Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, said 1.26 million jabs had been given in England, 113,000 in Scotland, 49,000 in Wales, and 46,000 in Northern Ireland.
The government has set a target to deliver first doses to 14 million of the most vulnerable by February 15.
The Moderna vaccine is much easier to distribute than the Pfizer jab, which must be stored at about -70C to maintain optimal efficacy.
It has been shown to last for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperature for up to 12 hours, and remains stable at -20C – equal to most household or medical freezers – for up to six months.
more recommended stories
COVID-19: Sinovac Defends Efficacy of CoronaVac
By Ahmed Rahma A Chinese biopharmaceutical.
Fake COVID-19 Vaccines in Nigeria—NAFDAC Cries Out
By Adedapo Adesanya The National Agency.
UK COVID-19 Variant in 50 Countries, S/Africa Strain in 20
By Ahmed Rahma The World Health.
Group Offers $30m Healthcare Loan to Nigeria, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya An opportunity has.
LASUTH Re-emphasises COVID-19 Second Wave
It has been clear for some.
Violation of COVID-19 Protocols at Worship Centres, Others Worries LUTH CMD
By Ahmed Rahma The Chief Medical.
EIB Launches €50m Africa Pharmaceutical Scheme
By Ahmed Rahma The long-term lending.
Buhari Should Probe Missing N3.8bn in Health Ministry, NAFDAC—SERAP
By Adedapo Adesanya The Socio-Economic Rights.