As the UK Government continues to work to strike deals with manufacturers to secure additional doses of promising Covid-19 vaccine candidates, it has announced a further two million doses have been agreed.
The latest deal, which relates to doses of the Moderna vaccine candidate, brings the total number of secured doses for this particular vaccine to seven million – enough to potentially inoculate around 3.5 million people around the UK.
Before it can be approved for UK use, the vaccine must still meet the strict standards of safety and effectiveness of the independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
If approval is achieved, the seven million secured doses could start to be delivered to the UK as early as Spring 2021 – the same timetable as with other European nations.
As part of its national Covid-19 vaccination strategy, the UK Government has worked to strike deals with a diverse portfolio of manufacturers of promising vaccine candidates. Across deals with seven different vaccine developers, the UK now currently has secured around 357 million vaccine doses.
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 two million doses of their promising candidate for the British public.”
The vaccine candidate has, at present, shown itself to be one of the most promising candidates, with preliminary clinical trial results showing it to be nearly 95% effective in protecting against Covid-19, with no safety issues reportedly identified to date.
The safety data is still yet to be released by the manufacturer to show whether the vaccine is both safe and effective.
It is currently still conducting phase three clinical trials of the vaccine, which utilises mRNA vaccine technology.