Where is the Moderna vaccine made? Which country makes the Covid jab - and how effective is it?

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK

The Moderna Covid-19 vaccine has now begun its rollout in the UK, and is the third vaccine to be administered in the country alongside the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.

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Elle Taylor, 24 from Ammanford, got the jab at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, and said she was “very excited and very happy” to have received the vaccine.

The Moderna Covid-19 has now begun its rollout in the UK
The Moderna Covid-19 has now begun its rollout in the UK

But where is the Moderna vaccine made and how effective is it? Here’s everything you need to know.

Where is the Moderna vaccine made?

Moderna is a US pharmaceutical and biotechnology company which has been developing its vaccine at its base in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The company is now producing the vaccine at a site in nearby Norwood.

A partnership with manufacturer, Lonza, will see further sites set up across the world, including a facility in Switzerland where it aims to produce one billion doses per year.

There are sites in Europe that will be responsible for the fill and finish process, which sees the vaccine put into vials ready for distribution.

One of these is Recipharm’s drug manufacturing site in France and in Spain, pharmaceutical lab Rovi has installed a new production line at it’s Madrid facility.

The vaccine received funding from two US federal agencies – the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA).

Dolly Parton is credited with helping fund the jab after donating one million dollars (around £716,000) to Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, which participated in the research.

How effective is the vaccine?

Phase three results of vaccine trials suggested that the vaccine has a 94.1 per cent efficacy against Covid-19, and against severe coronavirus it was 100 per cent effective.

More than 30,000 people in the US took part in the trial, from a wide range of age groups and ethnic backgrounds, and two doses were given 28 days apart to evaluate safety and any reaction to the vaccine.

The analysis was based on 196 Covid-19 cases, of which 185 were observed in a placebo group versus 11 observed in an active vaccine group.

Moderna also released data relating to severe cases. All 30 severe cases occurred in the placebo group and none in the group which was given the vaccine.

Is it effective against Covid-19 variants?

Moderna said in late January that it was effective against both the Covid-19 strain first detected in south east England and the mutation which first emerged in South Africa.

The company also said laboratory tests had found no significant impact on antibodies against the UK variant relative to prior variants.

While there was a six-fold reduction in neutralising antibodies produced against the South African variant, the levels remained above those that are expected to be protective.

Moderna added that the vaccine was generally well tolerated, with no serious safety concerns identified.

Some people experienced pain at the injection-site, while the second dose included fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, headache and redness at the injection site, although these were generally short-lived.

How many doses of Moderna does the UK have?

The Government has bought 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate around 8.5 million people.

A benefit of this vaccine is that it can be safely stored at temperatures of around minus 20C (minus 4F), which is achievable in a standard pharmaceutical fridge, making distribution much easier.

What stage is the Moderna rollout at in each of the four UK nations?

People in Wales were the first to receive the Moderna vaccine, with doses arriving at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen on 7 April.

The vaccine is now being more widely rolled out across the UK.

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