Matt Hancock announces deal for 5 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine from spring

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Five million doses of a promising new vaccine could be delivered to the UK from the Spring, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced.

British scientists have hailed the news that US firm Moderna's jab may be 94.5% effective against Covid-19.

Mr Hancock said the news was an "encouraging step", but warned that the data was "limited" and the firm's production operation is "not yet at scale."

But speaking at a Number 10 briefing, the Health Secretary announced an "initial agreement" had been reached for 5 million doses."

It's thought each person needs two doses of the vaccine, so it would be enough to vaccinate 2.5 million people.

He added: "We can see the candle of hope and we must do all that we can to nurture its flame."

(Image: 10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty)

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The 5 million doses adds to 350 million doses of other vaccines that have already secured.

Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which could be given from December 1 at the very earliest, the Moderna vaccine is not expected to be ready by Spring or later in the UK.

Neither the Moderna nor the Pfizer vaccine have passed final regulator approval – but they have different timetables.

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The Pfizer vaccine, if approved by regulators, will be rolled out sooner but the government still hasn't promised a launch date.

Boris Johnson today said he "hoped" the NHS will "be able to start distributing to those who need it, perhaps even before Christmas."

But Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the “vast bulk” of any rollout of the Pfizer jab would only be in the new year.

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