Jan 8, 2021 - Health

U.K. approves Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Picture of syringes in front of a British flag

Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

U.K. health regulators on Friday approved Moderna's coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, making it the third vaccine to gain approval in the country.

Why it matters: The U.K. is the first country to have three approved vaccines — from Pfizer, Oxford-AstraZeneca and now Moderna — a milestone that comes as a new and highly infectious variant of the coronavirus continues to spread like wildfire.

  • The British government has already ordered 7 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and is expecting to purchase 10 million additional shots.
  • Supplies are not expected to arrive until the spring.

By the numbers: The U.K. has reported more than 2.8 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 78,600 deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • Over 1.5 million people in the U.K. have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, BBC reports.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the goal is to vaccinate 15 million people by mid-February.
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