Earlier, Britain approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford University-AstraZeneca
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock called it 'another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease'
United Kingdom has authorised a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna, third vaccine against novel coronavirus to fight the pandemic. Britain has ordered a total of 17 million doses of vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the approval of the Moderna vaccine follows a “thorough and rigorous assessment" by its teams of scientists, including advice from the independent Commission on Human Medicines, which reviewed in-depth all the data to ensure this vaccine meets the required standards of “safety, quality and effectiveness".
“Having a third COVID-19 vaccine approved for supply following a robust and thorough assessment of all the available data is an important goal to have achieved and I am proud that the agency has helped to make this a reality," said Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive.
“I want to echo that our goal is always to put the protection of the public first. Once in use, all COVID-19 vaccines are continually monitored by the MHRA. This ensures that the benefits in protecting people against COVID-19 continue to far outweigh any potential side-effects," she added.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock called it "another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease", and added it will "boost our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring".
In trials with more than 30,000 volunteers, the Moderna vaccine showed that it offers nearly 95 per cent protection from severe COVID-19. The US Food and Drug Administration had based its decision of approval for America last month based on the results from this study.
Earlier, Britain approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford University-AstraZeneca. Around 1.5 million people have already received the jab. It plans to vaccinate some 15 million people by mid-February.
“Vaccines are the key to releasing us all from the grip of this pandemic, and today’s news is yet another important step towards ending lockdown and returning to normal life,’’ Business Secretary Alok Sharma said.