The UK’s regulatory authority on Friday approved a third Covid-19 vaccine for use in the country, made by the company Moderna.
However, supplies of the new jab are not expected to be available until the spring in a few weeks’ time as the UK has pre-ordered 7 million doses. In trials with more than 30,000, the Moderna vaccine offered nearly 95 per cent protection from severe Covid-19. The Moderna vaccine works in a similar way to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being offered by the National Health Service (NHS). It requires temperatures of around -20C for shipping — similar to a normal freezer. In comparison, the Pfizer/BioNTech one requires temperatures closer to -75C, making transport logistics much more difficult.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab is easier to store and distribute, as it can be kept at normal fridge temperature. All three vaccines, now cleared for use in the UK, require a second booster shot.
Around 1.5 million people in the UK have had at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine so far, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs.