What we know about the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

What we know about the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine

The first doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed next week, an EU source told EURACTIV.com, amid growing tensions among EU member states over the distribution of the 100 million additional doses of Pfizer's vaccine booked by the European Commission. Its findings are very limited, because it does not review the full set of mutations found in either of the new COVID-19 variants of the virus that is spreading fast.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Friday there were concerns that COVID-19 vaccines might not work properly against the highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus discovered in South Africa.

It is in talks with seven vaccine makers - Novavax, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sinovac, Johnson & Johnson and Russia's Gamaleya Institute- to procure at least 148 million doses to inoculate close to two thirds of its population this year.

Von der Leyen said that other vaccine authorisations were expected "in the coming weeks and months" so "Europe will have more than enough vaccine within a reliable timeframe".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it is "excellent news" that a third coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use in the United Kingdom.

The move allows European Union governments to order new doses from April, von der Leyen said, as the 27-nation bloc races to ramp up the vaccination of its 450 million people.

The study was done on the blood that was taken from those who had been given the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

But scientists around the world are conducting research with different vaccines to find out.

Executives at BioNTech - as well as from Moderna Inc., the developer of a rival mRNA shot - had previously said they believed their vaccines would protect against the new strains.

The European Medicines Agency said its human medicines committee recommended updating the product information for the vaccine to clarify that each vial contains six doses instead of the five that were advised when it originally greenlighted the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on December 21. It also cited a lack of evidence about whether vaccination reduces the risk of transmission of the virus to other people.

The EU had to sift through 160 vaccine candidates to arrive at the six it retained as the most likely to work and feasible to distribute on a massive scale, she said.

In total, 33 countries and four US states have identified the variant, among them California, Colorado, Florida and NY, according to officials.

"This will, of course, depend on the data we receive and the evaluation progress", she said. "Given the small fraction of USA infections that have been sequenced, the variant could already be in the United States without having been detected".

On Dec. 30, the city-state became the first Asian country to begin inoculation of the Pfizer vaccine, despite one of the lowest fatality rates from the coronavirus worldwide.

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