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500,000 Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to arrive in UK next month

Published on 29/03/21 at 12:20pm

More than 500,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine are set to arrive in the UK next month, ministers have confirmed.

The UK has ordered 17 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, adding to the stocks of both the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines that are currently in circulation.

Over 30 million of the UK population have received their first dose of a vaccine, with the vast majority of those inoculated being amongst the first nine priority vaccination groups.

However, the NHS have warned of limited supplies of vaccines expected in April due to a hold up with a consignment of 5 million AstraZeneca doses from India coinciding with a further 1.7 million AstraZeneca vaccines needing to be retested.

The Moderna vaccine is a similar type to the Pfizer-BioNTech, a messenger RNA. It has achieved a 94% efficacy rate in trials and was the third vaccine to be approved by the MHRA.

The arrival of the Moderna vaccines is not expected to ease the strain on UK supplies, however, and the NHS has been told to restrict doses to those in the first nine priority groups to ensure all are offered a jab by 15 April.

However, the UK government has said it would be able to offer second doses within 12 weeks and has remained confident in its ability to inoculate all adults by the end of July.

On Sunday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “We always knew that there would be ups and downs in terms of the vaccine rollout. We were surging ahead a couple of weeks ago, [and] there has been a bit of a slowdown now, but that doesn’t undermine our confidence that we will be able to deliver for that crucial group, the over-50s by the middle of April.”

Kat Jenkins

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