(Bloomberg) – On Wednesday, the UK will start rolling out the Moderna Inc. vaccine, beefing up Britain’s Covid-19 immunization program amid concerns about the AstraZeneca Plc vaccine and a dose shortfall.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Moderna’s vaccine will be offered first in West Wales. The version will be the third approved vaccine offered in Britain, alongside that from AstraZeneca and that from partners Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. Its launch would be approximately two weeks earlier than expected.
The UK has ordered 17 million of the two-dose Moderna vaccine, enough to immunize 8.5 million people.
The success of the vaccination program is crucial to the ambition of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who aims to fully reopen the UK economy on June 21. On Tuesday, the minister tried to reassure people about the Astra vaccine amid continuing concerns in Europe about possible side effects.
It later emerged that vaccines given to children in a study developed by Astra and the University of Oxford had been stopped, as the UK drug regulator investigates rare cases of blood clots in adults. In the children’s trial, no safety concerns have arisen, Oxford said.
“The UK Government has secured vaccines on behalf of the entire nation and the vaccination program has shown that our country works better together,” Hancock said in an emailed statement. “Wherever you live, when you get the call, go get vaccinated,” he said.
Original Note: Modern Covid-19 Vaccine Being Rolled Out in UK for First Time
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