Moderna jab rolled out across England
A 28-year-old solicitor has become one of the first people in England to receive the Moderna jab as part of the mass Covid-19 vaccination programme.
Emily Sanderson received the vaccine at the Sheffield Arena vaccination centre.
Ms Sanderson, who has an underlying health condition, was due to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, but this was changed to Moderna, the NHS said.
It comes after UK regulators said that people under the age of 30 should be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying there was a possible link between the jab and “extremely rare” blood clots.
This means people aged 18 to 29 who are offered the jab will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna jab until other vaccines are approved for use.
The Vaccines Taskforce has secured 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine for the UK – enough for 8.5 million people.
We now have a third jab in our armoury and NHS staff will be using it at more than 20 sites from this week, with more coming online as supplies expand
The jab has already been rolled out in Wales and Scotland, and the vaccine is expected to be delivered to people in Northern Ireland in the coming weeks.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director for NHS England, said the rollout of the Moderna jab “marks another milestone” in the coronavirus vaccination programme.
Developed in the US, the vaccine is the third to be added to the NHS “armoury”, alongside those from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
The NHS in England confirmed that the Moderna jab will be delivered at more than 20 vaccination sites this week, including Reading’s Madejski Stadium and the Sheffield Arena.
Martin Pluves from Wokingham and Caroline Nicolls were among the first to receive the vaccine at the Reading vaccination site.
More sites will be able to deliver the jab as supply increases.
Prof Powis said: “The Moderna rollout marks another milestone in the vaccination programme.
“We now have a third jab in our armoury and NHS staff will be using it at more than 20 sites from this week, with more coming online as supplies expand.
“England’s vaccination programme is our hope at the end of a year like no other, so please do come forward and get your jab when you’re invited.
“It is safe, quick and effective – it will protect you and your loved ones.”
Commenting on the news, Professor Adam Finn, a member of the JCVI, told BBC Breakfast: “This is enormously important; these are large numbers of doses (and) it’s another tool in the toolbox.
“We’ve got two excellent vaccines already that work really, really effectively, but the more vaccines we’ve got, the more security over supply.
“I hope this is another step along the way and that we’ll actually see more vaccines come through over the coming months, and we’ll have a really strong and secure supply.
“The programme hasn’t been able to move forward quite as fast as it would have if there had been more vaccine supply this month.
“Having this additional supply of Moderna is clearly going to speed that up and enable us to get started on phase two and people in their 40s.”
A 24-year-old carer from Wales became the first person in the UK to receive the Moderna jab last week.
Elle Taylor, from Ammanford, got the vaccine at the West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen on April 7.
Almost 40 million vaccines have been delivered across the UK.
This includes more than 32 million first doses and 7.6 million second doses.
Public Health England released operational details about the Moderna jab on Monday, including information on the dose, the interval between first and second jab, the storage temperature, and whether people who receive the jab will need to be observed afterwards.
The jab needs to be stored at minus 25C to minus 15C, and once it has been thawed it can be stored at 2C to 8C for up to 30 days.
The minimum interval between first and second dose of the Moderna vaccine is 28 days.
And patients who receive the Moderna jab will need to wait at the vaccination centre and be observed for a period of 15 minutes after they receive the vaccine.
More by this authorPA News