On the back of Moderna announcing early efficacy data of 94.5% for its Covid-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 on Monday 16 November, the UK Government announced that it has secured 5 million doses of mRNA-1273.
The UK Government expects that if Moderna's vaccine is found to be safe and effective in full Phase III results and approved by the UK's healthcare regulator, then the first doses may be delivered to the UK by spring 2021.
These 5 million doses are enough for 2.5 million people as two doses of this vaccine are needed. However, there is the possibility of the UK securing additional doses next year.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said: "[This] announcement is excellent news and an encouraging step forward in our fight against Covid-19.
"We have moved swiftly to secure 5 million doses of this hugely promising vaccine meaning we are even better placed to vaccinate everyone who will benefit should the rigorous safety standards be met.
"But we are not there yet. Until science can make us safe, we must remain vigilant and keep following the rules that we know can keep this virus under control."
Through the Vaccines Taskforce, the UK Government has already secured 350 million doses from companies like Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Valneva.
Chair of the Vaccines Taskforce Kate Bingham added: "The government has now signed agreements with seven vaccine developers to secure the most promising vaccines for the UK.
"The government’s Vaccine Taskforce are pursuing a portfolio approach to obtaining vaccines for the UK across different vaccine formats, to maximise the chances of finding safe and effective vaccines.
"We will continue to monitor the field of promising vaccines, and are very encouraged by the effectiveness shown by these early frontrunners, but we must remain vigilant to the fact that no vaccine is yet approved for use by regulators."