The UK has secured 2 million more doses of the Moderna’s promising coronavirus vaccine as the country prepares for the launch of its COVID-19 inoculation program, health officials announced Sunday.
The country’s Department of Health has now ordered 7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, which the company has said proved to be about 95 percent effective in clinical trials.
Moderna’s vaccine is expected to be referred soon to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, to see if it is safe and effective.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote in the Mail on Sunday that the country’s vaccine roll-out could be “just days away.”
Hospitals in England have been alerted they could receive the first doses of yet-to-be-approved Pfizer’s vaccine as early as Dec. 7, according to the Guardian and Financial Times.
Health care workers and nursing home residents will be first in line to be vaccinated, the UK government has said, followed by elderly people over the age of 80.
Johnson said officials hope to vaccinate “the vast majority of the people who need the most protection by Easter.”
Overall, the UK government has agreed to purchase over 350 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine from seven different producers — pending their approval.
Globally, the UK has suffered the fifth most COVID-19 related deaths — with over 58,000.