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Government orders additional 2m Moderna Covid vaccines for the spring

Government orders additional 2m Moderna Covid vaccines for the spring

The UK Government has ordered a further two million doses of the Covid vaccine produced by US firm Moderna, which it expects to be ready by spring 2021.

This brings the total number of Moderna vaccines ordered by the Government to seven million doses.

This is enough for approximately 3.5 million people, since it must be taken in two doses.

It comes as the US firm has reported its final results from trials of the vaccine, confirming it has shown to be 94% effective. This tallies with its interim analysis from trials, reporting 95% efficacy.

Moderna researchers have still yet to release the final data on whether their vaccine is both safe and effective. It has previously said its trial did not result in ‘any significant safety concerns’.

Moderna said it would now seek emergency regulatory approval from US regulator the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the European Medicines Agency. 

In the UK, the vaccine will need to be approved Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is already carrying out a rolling assessment.

If the vaccine is approved seven million doses could start to be delivered to the UK in spring 2021, the same timetable as other countries in Europe.

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.’

The UK Government has now secured a total of 357 million Covid vaccine doses, from a combination of seven developers.

Some of these, including from University of Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech, join Moderna’s in being in phrase three of their clinical trials.