The third coronavirus vaccine approved for use in the UK will be launched in Wales today (Wednesday).
The first dose of the Moderna vaccine will be given at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, according to the Welsh Government.
The vaccination centers in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area received 5,000 doses of the vaccine on Tuesday (April 6).
The vaccine was approved by the UK drug and health products regulator on January 8th.
Britain has bought 17 million cans of the Moderna jab – enough for 8.5 million people – and is being launched along with the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.
The third phase results suggest that Moderna’s effectiveness against Covid-19 was 94.1% and effectiveness against severe Covid-19 was 100%.
Health and Welfare Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “pleased that we can begin rolling out the Moderna vaccine in the UK today in West Wales”.
He added: “The UK government has secured vaccines on behalf of the entire nation and the vaccination program has shown that our country is working together at its best.
“Three out of five people across the UK received at least one dose, and today we’re starting the third approved vaccine. Wherever you live, when you get the call, get the push. “
Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the rollout was “another major milestone in our fight” against the coronavirus.
He said: “A third vaccine for use in Wales will go a long way in fighting coronaviruses and will help protect our most vulnerable people.
“Every vaccine given to someone in Wales is a small victory over the virus and we encourage everyone to choose their vaccine by invitation.”
Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health at Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We are excited to use the Moderna vaccine for use across West Wales.
“We will be using this new vaccine with Oxford AstraZeneca to continue rolling out the vaccine in our communities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
“We are incredibly lucky to have a third vaccine in Wales that has a long shelf life and can be easily transported to deliver the vaccination program to small clinics in our rural communities.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the first batch of Moderna vaccines arrived in the country on Monday.
Scotland is expected to receive more than a million of the doses ordered by the UK and Ms Sturgeon said they were already taken into account when planning the vaccination program and will be delivered in the coming months.
A spokesman for the Department of Health and Welfare said the Moderna vaccine would be launched “as soon as possible this month” in England.
Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said Tuesday morning that it would be used “around the third week of April”.
It has not been confirmed when the introduction of Moderna will begin in Northern Ireland.