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UK regulator gives the nod for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 08, 2021

A file photo of Moderna's logo reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration.   -  Reuters

American biotech company becomes the third firm to get the nod in the UK.

American biotech company Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has been given regulatory approval for supply by the United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

This makes it the third Covid-19 vaccine to be approved for use by the MHRA, after Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca-OxfordUniversity’s vaccines.

This comes even as the UK sees a surge in Covid-19 cases, including the mutant strain’s added worry. .

Benefit outweights risk

Once in use, all Covid-19 vaccines are continually monitored by the MHRA, a note from the regulator said. This ensures that the benefits in protecting people against Covdi-19 continue to far outweigh any potential side-effects, it added.

Moderna’s vaccine is also the second mRNA vaccine, like the Pfizer-BioNTech one.

It works by injecting a small part of the Covid-19 virus’ genetic code, which triggers an immune response and creates antibodies in the human body able to fight the virus. It is given in two doses, 28 days apart and can be stored at -20°C for up to six months.

The regulator cautioned that the vaccine not be given to those with a previous history of allergic reactions to the vaccine ingredients, but those with any other allergies such as a food allergy can take it.

Moderna, further said the UK government had exercised its option to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the vaccine bringing its confirmed order commitment to 17 million doses. The first deliveries of the vaccine to the UK from Moderna’s dedicated non-US supply chain are expected to commence early in 2021, it added.

The UK is the fifth jurisdiction to authorize Moderna’s vaccine, following the United States, Canada, Israel and the European Union, it said. Additional authorizations are currently under review in several countries including Singapore and Switzerland.

Published on January 08, 2021

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