Coronavirus (COVID-19)—UK Government secures ‘initial agreement’ with Moderna

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—UK Government secures ‘initial agreement’ with Moderna

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Alok Sharma, has announced that the UK has negotiated with the American biotechnology company Moderna to receive doses for around 2.5 million people of its potential coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, and the Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, have made statements concerning deployment of the vaccine. The negotiations with Moderna bring the total number of vaccine dose procured through agreements with seven biotechnology companies to over 355 million.

The UK Government has announced that the vaccine could be delivered to the UK as early as Spring 2021, subject to regulatory approval.

Moderna has published initial data showing that its potential vaccine is nearly 95% effective in protecting against coronavirus, although safety data has not yet been released. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has started a ‘rolling review’ of Moderna’s candidate, which will be followed by scrutiny from the Commission on Human Medicines, the government’s independent advisory body.

The government is continuing to urge the public to ‘to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including following the Hands, Face, Space guidance’.

The Health and Social Care Secretary’s speech provided data on the incidence of coronavirus in England and the UK, the increase in testing capacity, including the developments of two new ‘mega labs’, as well as updating the general public on the initial agreement with Moderna.

The Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services’ written statement covered the work done since May 2020 to promote vaccine development and distribution and confirmed that the Chief Medical Officer will soon ‘write again to Health Boards and Trusts to give national direction to the implementation of the vaccination programme’. 

Source: Government secures 5 million doses of Moderna vaccine

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