Government signs deal for 5 million doses of Moderna Covid vaccine

16 November 2020, 17:20 | Updated: 16 November 2020, 20:38

By Kate Buck

The Government has signed a deal for five million doses of the Moderna vaccine, of which preliminary studies have claimed has a 95% success rate.

The UK will have access to five million doses of the Moderna vaccine if it is approved, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced.

The firm has claimed a 94.5% effectiveness against the illness for the vaccine, although it is not expected to be available in the UK before spring 2021.

At a Downing Street press conference the Health Secretary said the preliminary results for the vaccine were "excellent news".

Read more: US Moderna vaccine could prevent 94.5% of people from getting Covid

"Although I stress that this is preliminary, the safety data is limited and their production facilities are not yet at scale," he added.

The Government has signed a deal for 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine
The Government has signed a deal for 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine. Picture: PA

"Across diagnostics and vaccines, great advances in medical science are coming to the rescue.

"While there is much uncertainty, we can see the candle of hope and we must do all that we can to nurture its flame.

"But we're not there yet. Until the science can make us safe we must remain vigilant and keep following the rules that we know can keep this virus under control."

England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam said the Moderna results were "brilliant news".

Prof Van-Tam told a Downing Street press conference: "Do I feel more encouraged in relation to another messenger RNA vaccine showing that it is making Covid-19 potentially in the future of vaccine preventable disease... absolutely so.
"It's brilliant news, absolutely brilliant."

Prof Van-Tam had compared the Pfizer vaccine trial results to a goal in a penalty shoot-out and he continued the comparison following the Moderna data.

"It's the second penalty now, that's also gone into the back of the net.

"So we're starting to feel in a better position."