The MHRA has approved the Moderna vaccine for Covid-19, the third vaccine against the virus to be approved for use in the UK.
Announcing the approval on Friday January 8, the MHRA said the vaccine, which was developed in America and showed over 90 per cent efficacy in preliminary trials, had been through a “thorough and rigorous assessment” to determine that it met the required standards for safety, quality and effectiveness.
Two doses of the Moderna vaccine must be given, with the MHRA recommending 28 days between the first and second dose. It can be stored at -20°C for up to six months, and is approved for use in over-18s.
“In line with the other COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved, the Moderna vaccine should only be considered for use in pregnancy when the potential benefits outweigh any potential risks for the mother and baby,” said the MHRA.
MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine said: “Today’s approval brings more encouraging news to the public and the healthcare sector. 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.
“The progress we are now making for vaccines on the regulatory front, while not cutting any corners, is helping in our global fight against this disease and ultimately helping to save lives.
“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.”
Commenting on the announcement, Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies (AIMp) Leyla Hannbeck said the launch of products such as the Oxford and Moderna vaccine “has equipped all of us to visualise a more ambitious even game changing role for community pharmacies in the Governments pledge to vaccinate at pace”.
“AIMp had those discussions with NHSE team early last week and we have been working with our colleagues in the other national representative organisations in drawing up the proposals on how we can all co-ordinate and bring our resources in to play as soon as possible,” Ms Hannbeck said.