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An injection of hope? What we know about the Moderna Vaccine

An injection of hope? What we know about the Moderna Vaccine

Thursday 28 January 2021

An injection of hope? What we know about the Moderna Vaccine


The Bailiwick is expected to receive 17,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the spring, after it was approved by local authorities this week.

The vaccine against Covid-19 was given regulatory approval by the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on 8 January following what the body described as a "thorough and rigorous assessment" by in-house scientists and expert independent advisors.

The UK has pre-ordered 17 million doses, which it is expecting to receive "in the spring".

Under current arrangements, the Bailiwick is allocated 0.1% of the UK's share via the NHS supply chain, meaning we should receive 17,000 doses of the vaccine, in addition to the 22,070 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and the 18,525 doses of the Pfizer vaccine we are expecting by the end of March. 

"We have approved the Moderna vaccine for use in the Bailiwick," Public Health Director Dr Nicola Brink announced this week. 

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Pictured: The Moderna Vaccine is the second authorised mRNA vaccine, following the Pfizer/BioNTech. 

"We are not expecting immediate availability of the vaccine, we are anticipating getting deliveries around about spring. However, it will be nice to have a third designated vaccine available for our use."

Early indications are that the Moderna vaccine works against the new, more transmissible variants of the corona virus, according to scientists from the US pharmaceutical company. Further testing is needed to validate these claims, which are yet to be peer reviewed. 

The company is currently recommending its vaccine is administered in two doses, 28 days apart, and is weighing up whether a third booster might be needed to specifically target the new South Africa variant. 

The two vaccines already administered - Pfizer and AstraZeneca - have not yet confirmed their level of effectiveness against the new strains.

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Pictured: Details of the CCA's current vaccination roadmap and the priority groups first in line to receive one.

The Moderna vaccine works by injecting a small part of the Covid-19 virus’ genetic code, which triggers an immune response and creates antibodies in the human body able to fight the virus.

Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 illness. 

Most people who participated in the trials (82%) were considered to have an occupational risk of exposure, with 25.4% of them being healthcare workers, while a quarter were aged 65 and over.  

In clinical trials, reactogenicity symptoms (side effects that happen within seven days of getting vaccinated) were common but were mostly mild to moderate, according to the MHRA. 

Side effects such as fever, chills, tiredness, and headache throughout the body were more common after the second dose of the vaccine.

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Pictured: The potential side effects for the Moderna Vaccine are said to be "mild to moderate" by UK health authorities. 

MHRA Chief Executive Dr June Raine said health authorities were determined to make progress on the regulatory front, but emphasised that the priority remains public safety, saying they were "not cutting any corners" in their approval processes. 

"Once in use, all Covid-19 vaccines are continually monitored by the MHRA," said Dr Raine. 

"This ensures that the benefits in protecting people against Covid-19 continue to far outweigh any potential side-effects."

Guernsey's community vaccination centre opened ahead of schedule on 23 January, as Public Health places increased importance on immunisation following the current outbreak, which has seen nine positive cases of the corona virus which could not be explained by contact tracing. 

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