Amid controversy over AstraZeneca safety, UK begins rollout of Moderna vaccine in Wales
London, April 7, 2021 (AltAfrica)-The Moderna vaccine will be rolled out for the first time in the UK to residents in west Wales from Wednesday, the Welsh government has announced. The announcement follows growing concern surrounding the possible link between the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots.
On Tuesday, Oxford university announced that it would pause its trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on children aged between six and 17, as the MHRA continues its investigation into possible links between the jab and blood clotting in adult patients.
The Moderna vaccine was approved as safe and effective for use in the UK in January this year.
Supplies arrived in Wales on Tuesday, with 5,000 doses sent to Hywel Dda University Health Board vaccination centres.
The first doses will be administered at Carmarthen’s Glangwili Hospital.
The UK has ordered 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, with Wales receiving a proportion of that number.
The jab is the third of seven vaccines that the UK has ordered. Like the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs which are already in use, the Moderna jab is given in two doses several weeks apart.
It has not yet been confirmed when the rest of the UK can expect to start using it. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed they have received their first batch, while the UK government’s vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Tuesday that the Moderna vaccine would be deployed “around the third week of April”.
Across the whole of the UK, more than 31.6 million people have now had a first dose – about three in five adults – while 5.4 million have been fully vaccinated.
In Wales, more than 1.49 million people (47.4% of the population) have had a first dose, while more than 469,000 people have had both doses.
Wales’ chief pharmacist, Andrew Evans, has said he hopes the Moderna vaccine rollout will help make up the shortfall.