A THIRD Covid vaccine has been approved in a boost to efforts to beat the pandemic.
After trials on more than 30,000 people, UK regulators have now recommended the use of the Moderna jab – but where is the vaccine made and how effective is it?
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Where is the Moderna vaccine made?
Biotech company Moderna was founded in 2010 and was formerly named ModeRNA Therapeutics.
The company is part of the US government's Operation Warp Speed programme and is owned by shareholders.
Noubar Afeyan is co-founder and chairman of Moderna.
Moderna is using a relatively new facility in Norwood, Massachusetts to make the vaccine.
What other medicines and vaccines does Moderna produce?
Moderna's medicines include development candidates for mRNA-based vaccines and therapies spanning several therapeutic areas.
It uses mRNA to spur the body to produce its own therapeutic proteins.
Moderna calls mRNA “the software of life”.
How effective is the Moderna Covid vaccine?
The Moderna vaccine was hailed as "tremendously exciting" when the US pharmaceutical company posted its phase three clinical trial results in November.
Its trial involved more than 30,000 people, half of whom received the vaccine and the other half received a placebo.
The vaccine demonstrated a 94.1 per cent efficacy in the trial and 90.9 per cent efficacy in participants at risk of severe Covid-19.
"We are going to have a vaccine that can stop Covid-19," Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in a telephone interview.
Moderna expects to be able to produce 20 million doses by the end of the year, and between 500 million and 1 billion in 2021.
When did the Moderna vaccine get UK approval?
The vaccine was approved today for use in Britain.
Seven million doses of the US-based company's vaccine had already been ordered but the Government today announced an additional 10 million have been purchased.
The jab is the third to be given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), along with the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca.
Welcoming the news, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is fantastic news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.
“Through our vaccine delivery plan we have already vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people across the UK.
"The Moderna vaccine will boost our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring."
Supplies of the vaccine will not be available for NHS use until the spring – once Moderna expands its production capability, the Department of Health said.
That's because it's being manufactured in the States first and will take a few months before facilities in Europe are ready to distribute.
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