UK secures 2,000,000 more jabs of ‘95% effective’ Covid vaccine

The UK has ordered another two million doses of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

It brings the total number of jabs on order from the US pharmaceutical company to seven million – enough for around 3.5 million people in the UK.

If Moderna’s vaccine is approved by health regulators it could be delivered next spring.

The Government has also ordered jabs from Oxford University’s ‘70% effective’ candidate and Pfizer and BioNTech, whose vaccine was found to be 95% effective. 

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‘The UK was one of the first countries in Europe to sign a deal with Moderna, and I’m delighted we have been able to secure a further two million doses of their promising candidate for the British public,’ said Business Secretary Alok Sharma.

All of the vaccines are yet to be given the okay by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which is responsible for ensuring the jabs are safe.

The big order for jabs came as Boris Johnson appointed a new vaccine minister responsible for deploying the jabs.

Nadhim Zahawi is also a business minister who has been critical of the Prime Minister’s three-tier system in the past.

He said he was ‘delighted’ with the role and plans to work as quickly as possible to administer vaccines to help save lives and jobs.

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.

‘This includes buying a further two million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, on top of the five million we’ve already secured.

‘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 Government’s Vaccine Taskforce has so far bought 100 million doses of Oxford’s vaccine, enough to treat most of the population, and 40 million jabs from Pfizer and BioNTech. 

Chair of the Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham said they have worked on securing ‘the most promising vaccines’ to increase ‘the chances of having a safe and effective prevention as soon as possible’.

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