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Coronavirus: The Moderna jab becomes the third vaccine to roll out in England

Coronavirus: The Moderna jab becomes the third vaccine to roll out in England

Author: Joel Griffiths | Tuesday 13th April 2021

Coronavirus: The Moderna jab becomes the third vaccine to roll out in England  Photograph

The Moderna coronavirus jab will become the third vaccine to roll out in England, starting from Tuesday morning. The Moderna vaccine will be available at 21 sites across the country.

The Moderna vaccine is a two-dose jab given at an interval of between four and 12 weeks.

Logistically, the vaccine uses similar RNA technology to the Pfizer jab, but can be stored at temperatures of -20C like a normal freezer, compared to -70C for the Pfizer vaccine. It can also be stored for 30 days at normal fridge temperatures. Wales and Scotland began using the Moderna vaccine last week.

In the wake of concerns about very rare blood clot cases and the AstraZeneca vaccine for younger age groups now ready to be vaccinated, this may offer a welcome alternative.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation - which advises the UK government on vaccines - recommended that under-30s be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, out of the "utmost caution" following reports of blood clots in about four in one million cases.

More than 32 million people in the UK have now had the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and nearly 7.7 million have had both doses.

Prof Stephen Powis, medical director of NHS England, said having "a third jab in our armoury" marked another "milestone" in the vaccine programme.

He said more sites would offer the Moderna vaccine as further supplies arrive.And he urged people to come forward for vaccination when they are invited, saying the vaccines were "our hope at the end of a year like no other".