Britain’s medical regulator on Friday approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use, the health ministry said, adding that it had agreed to purchase an additional 10 million doses as it eyed a spring rollout of the shot.
Three COVID-19 vaccines have now been approved for use in Britain, with Pfizer/BioNTech’s shot and one developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca already being administered.
The Moderna shot is not expected to play a part in the first stage of Britain’s vaccine rollout, which needs to see 2 million vaccinations a week being given for the next six weeks in order to hit a target of inoculating high priority groups by mid-February.
Instead, supplies will begin to be delivered to the UK from the spring once Moderna expands its production capability.
“We have already vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people across the UK and Moderna’s vaccine will allow us to accelerate our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring,” health minister Matt Hancock said
Britain now has 17 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine on order, after waiting for trial data before making a commitment, putting it behind the United States and the European Union in the queue for the shot.