Vaccine could be delivered to the UK from Spring 2021.
The UK government has completed negotiations with biotech company Moderna to secure access to 5 million doses of its promising vaccine, enough for around 2.5 million people, the Business Secretary announced today.
If it meets robust standards of safety and effectiveness and approved by the medicines regulator, the vaccine could be delivered to the UK and Europe as early as Spring 2021 with the potential for the government to procure more doses next year.
This would follow the first deliveries of the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford University/AstraZenece vaccines which, once final data from their phase 3 clinical trials has been published and if they receive regulatory approval, could be available before the end of the year.
The agreement is part of the government’s strategy to develop a diverse portfolio of vaccines, increasing the UK’s chances of securing access to a promising vaccine. Today’s deal means the government has put in place agreements with 7 different developers and has secured 355 million vaccine doses, giving the UK the best possible chance of protecting the public from coronavirus as soon as possible.
The news comes as Moderna today publishes initial data showing that its candidate is nearly 95% effective in protecting against COVID-19, with no safety issues identified to date. The safety data is still to be released by Moderna to show whether the vaccine is both safe and effective.
Until a vaccine is found to meet robust standards of safety and effectiveness, the public must continue to take necessary actions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including following the Hands, Face, Space guidance and other public health advice.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Moderna is currently conducting phase 3 clinical trials of its vaccine and is using mRNA vaccine technology.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has started a rolling review of Moderna’s vaccine. MHRA will carefully and scientifically review the safety, quality and effectiveness data once it has all been submitted to determine how it protects people from COVID-19 and the level of protection it provides.
The data must include results from the lab and clinical trials; manufacturing and quality controls, product sampling, and testing of the final product.
Once they have thoroughly reviewed the data, the MHRA will seek advice from the government’s independent advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines. They will critically assess the data too before advising the government on the safety, quality and effectiveness of any potential vaccine.
The MHRA is globally recognised for requiring the highest standards of safety, quality and effectiveness for any vaccine.
Chair of the government’s Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham said: