The Government have secured access to 5 million doses of Moderna’s promising vaccine, enough for around 2.5 million people, following initial data showing that it is nearly 95 per cent effective in protecting against coronavirus, with no safety issues yet identified. The Business Secretary announced that the negotiations with biotech company Moderna were completed today.
This deal means we have put in place agreements with 7 different developers and have secured 355 million vaccine doses, putting us at the front of the international pack on a per capita basis. The vaccines secured are as follows:
- 100 million doses of University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
- 40 million doses of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
- 5 million doses of Moderna vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
- 60 million doses of Novavax vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
- 60 million doses of Valneva vaccine – pre-clinical trials
- 60 million doses of GSK/Sanofi Pasteur vaccine – phase 1 clinical trials
- 30 million doses of Janssen vaccine – phase 2 clinical trials
If the Moderna vaccine passes all the rigorous safety checks (which include robust standards of safety and effectiveness and assessment by the medicines regulator) and is proved effective, it could be delivered as early as Spring 2021 with the potential for the Government to procure more doses next year.
But the biggest mistake we could make now would be to slacken our resolve at such a critical moment. Irrespective of whether there is a vaccine on the way or not, we must continue to do everything possible right now to bring the R down – and everyone should continue to stay at home, to protect the NHS and save lives.
The Government have invested over £230 million into manufacturing any successful vaccine and an enormous amount of planning and preparation has taken place across Government to be able to quickly roll out the vaccine, including ensuring we have adequate provision, transport, PPE and logistical expertise to do so. The Government are also working at pace to prepare for the delivery of any potential COVID-19 vaccination programme as quickly as possible.