The Moderna vaccine is the third vaccine to be approved for use in the UK, and it is set to be administered to patients in Wales from Wednesday (7 April).
The first doses will be given to patients at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, according to the Welsh Government, adding that five thousand doses of the vaccine have been sent to vaccination centres in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency announced that the vaccine had been approved for use on 8 January.
‘Another milestone in the fight against Covid-19’
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: “This is another key milestone in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. A third vaccine for use in Wales significantly adds to our defences in the face of coronavirus and will help to protect our most vulnerable.
“Every vaccine given to someone in Wales is a small victory against the virus and we would encourage everyone to go for their vaccine when invited.
“If people cannot attend their appointment, we ask them to let the health board know via the contact details provided in their invitation as this vaccination slot can be offered to someone else rather than be wasted.
“Once you have been vaccinated, you should continue to follow guidance, staying two metres apart, washing your hands and wearing a face covering to protect those around you.
“I want to thank all those who have been working tirelessly to deliver the vaccine across Wales and will help us meet our second milestone of offering a vaccine to all phase one priority groups.
“I also want to thank the 1.5 million people in Wales that have already come forward for their vaccine and done their bit in this national effort.”
‘Incredibly lucky to have a third vaccine’
Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “We’re delighted to be able to use the Moderna vaccine for deployment across west Wales.
“We will be using this new vaccine, alongside Oxford AstraZeneca, to continue the vaccine roll out to our communities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
“We are incredibly lucky to have a third vaccine in Wales, with a long shelf life and the ability to be easily transported, to help deliver the vaccination programme to small clinics across our rural communities.”
When will the Moderna vaccine be available across the rest of the UK?
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said that the Moderna vaccine will be rolled out in England “as soon as possible this month”.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Tuesday morning that it’s set to be deployed “around the third week of April”.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that the first batch of Moderna vaccines had arrived in Scotland on Monday.
Scotland is set to receive more than a million of the doses ordered by the UK, with the First Minister stating that they have already been factored into planning for the vaccination programme, which will be delivered over the coming months.
So far, there has not been any confirmation of when the Moderna rollout might begin in Northern Ireland.
How many doses of the Modern vaccine has the UK purchased?
The UK has bought 17 million doses of the Moderna jab, which is enough to fully vaccinate 8.5 million people as a full vaccination requires two jabs.
Phase three results of the jab suggested that it held 94.1 per cent efficacy against Covid-19, and 100 per cent efficacy against severe Covid-19.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said that he was “delighted we can start the UK rollout of the Moderna vaccine in west Wales today”.
He added: “The UK government has secured vaccines on behalf of the entire nation and the vaccination programme has shown our country working together at its best.
“Three out of every five people across the whole United Kingdom have received at least one dose, and today we start with the third approved vaccine. Where you live, when you get the call, get the jab.”
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister site National World