England begins Moderna vaccine rollout as lockdown eases

England is beginning its rollout of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, offering an alternative to the AstraZeneca/Oxford University jab following a potential link to a very rare kind of blood clot.

The Moderna shot is the third vaccine to become available in the country, which has made considerable progress with its inoculation campaign.

Its arrival is also timely given the safety concerns with the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, which prompted the UK regulator to limit its use in under-30s.

The sites in England are gearing up to offer the RNA-based vaccine, which can be stored at up to 30 days at normal refrigerator temperatures, although it requires a medical freezer set at around -20C to remain stable for six months.

The minimum interval between the first and second dose of the vaccine is 28 days.

Moderna’s vaccine will be available at 21 sites, including the Madejski Stadium in Reading and the Sheffield Arena.

It will provide an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for the under-30 age group and the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is also available as an alternative.

Patients who receive the Moderna jab will need to wait at the vaccination centre and be observed for a period of 15 minutes after they receive the vaccine.

All over-50s and high-risk groups in the UK have been offered a coronavirus before a mid-April deadline set by the government, allowing the second phase of the deployment to younger cohorts to begin.

This means that people in their late forties will be offered the vaccine, as lockdown restrictions in England were further restricted to allow shops and other services such as hairdressers to open.

There were just over 3,500 new cases reported across the UK yesterday, well down from the peak in January when more than 68,000 new cases were reported.

Deaths from coronavirus in the UK are also well down from their January peak of more than 1,700, with 13 deaths associated with the disease reported yesterday.

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