29/11/2020 15:17 GMT

UK Secures 2m Extra Doses Of Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine

The government says it has now secured 357m doses of coronavirus vaccines from seven different developers.

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Photo illustration of a medical syringe and a vial depicting fake coronavirus vaccine seen in front of the Moderna US biotechnology company logo.

The UK has signed a deal for an extra 2m doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, which researchers say has an efficacy rate of almost 95%

The new deal means Britain has now secured 7m doses of the American bio-tech company’s jab – enough to protect around 3.5m people. 

However, the trial vaccine must first be authorised for use in the UK before it can be rolled out. 

If it is approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the Moderna vaccine could start to be delivered to the UK as early as spring 2021, the Department of Health and Social Care has said. 

Business secretary Alok Sharma, said: “It is essential that we continue to bolster our portfolio of vaccine candidates to ensure we’re in the best possible position to protect the public once we see that breakthrough.

“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 2 million doses of their promising candidate for the British public.” 

The fresh deal means the UK has now secured early access to more than 357m coronavirus vaccine doses from seven different developers, government figures show

 These include: 

  • 100 million doses of University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine 
  • 40 million doses of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine
  • 7 million doses of Moderna vaccine 
  • 60 million doses of Novavax vaccine
  • 60 million doses of Valneva vaccine
  • 60 million doses of GSK/Sanofi Pasteur vaccine 
  • 30 million doses of Janssen vaccine 

The Oxford University/ AstraZeneca vaccine, as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax vaccines are all in phase three of clinical trials, while the Janssen vaccine is in phase two. 

The GSK/Sanofi Pasteur jab – which the UK has secured 60m doses of – is in phase one clinical trials, while the Valneva vaccine is pre-clinical trials. 

On Friday, the government revealed it had formally asked the UK medicines regulator to decide whether it would authorise the Oxford vaccine for temporary use. 

It has also previously asked the agency to evaluate the Pfizer/Biotech jab.   

News of extra doses of the Moderna jab comes just a day after it was announced that Boris Johnson had picked junior business minister Nadhim Zahawi to oversee the deployment of Covid-19 vaccines

Downing Street said that the Stratford-on-Avon MP, who has served in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) since July 2019, would take on the role until at least next summer.