Covid: Moderna vaccine rolled out in England as next phase of vaccination programme begins
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The Moderna vaccine has been developed in the US and comes alongside the AstraZeneca and Pfizer jab, which are currency being administered in the UK.
The UK’s Vaccines Taskforce has secured 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine in total, with the jab already being rolled out in Wales and Scotland. The vaccine is expected to be delivered to people in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
Public Health England (PHE) released operational details about the Moderna vaccine on Monday (12 April), which included information on the dose, the interval between first and second jab and the storage temperature.
The minimum interval between the first and second dose of the vaccine is 28 days, but those who receive the jab will need to wait at the vaccination centre and be observed for 15 minutes after they receive the vaccine.
The operational details said the Moderna vaccine needs to be stored at -25C to -15C and once it has been thawed it can be stored at 2C to 8C for up to 30 days.
‘We now have a third jab in our armoury’
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said the rollout of the Moderna jab “marks another milestone” in the Covid vaccination programme.
Prof Powis said: “We now have a third jab in our armoury and NHS staff will be using it at more than 20 sites from this week, with more coming online as supplies expand.
“England’s vaccination programme is our hope at the end of a year like no other, so please do come forward and get your jab when you’re invited.
“It is safe, quick and effective – it will protect you and your loved ones.”
The rollout of the Moderna vaccine comes as the UK Government confirmed that it has met its target of offering a Covid jab to the highest priority groups by mid-April.
The next phase of the vaccination programme, which is healthy adults under the age of 50, will now begin this week.