Five million doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine have been ordered by the UK, the health secretary has announced.
Matt Hancock said preliminary trials showing it to be 94.5% effective were “excellent news” and that, if it proves safe, the jabs can start to be rolled out across the country by spring 2021.
“We can see the candle of hope,” he declared, but cautioned that people must keep following COVID-19 restrictions.
The vaccine, which Moderna produced in collaboration with the US government’s “Operation Warp Speed”, is particularly attractive given it can be stored relatively easily.
It has been shown to last for up to 30 days in household fridges, at room temperature for up to 12 hours, and remains stable at -20C – equal to most household or medical freezers – for up to six months.
So far, the UK government has secured access to seven candidate vaccines – totalling more than 355 million doses.
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