The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The authorisation comes following a ‘thorough’ assessment by the MHRA, which reviewed all the available data detailing the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine.

In October 2020, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed that it had started the rolling review process of the vaccine, formerly known as mRNA-1273.

Following this, Moderna announced in November 2020 that the vaccine candidate met the pre-specified statistical criteria in the phase COVE III study protocol for efficacy, with a vaccine efficacy of 94.5%.

The Moderna jab is the third vaccine against COVID-19 to be approved by the MHRA for use within the UK, with the first two being the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine.

“We are delighted to be able to give a positive recommendation for the Moderna vaccine which will help in the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme,” said Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, chair of the Expert Working Group of the Independent Commission on Human Medicines.

“As with all the COVID-19 vaccine data we have seen to date, we have ensured a robust and thorough safety assessment has been carried out with the independent experts that sit on this group,” he added.

The UK has now secured a 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine – it initially signed a deal for seven million doses in November 2020.

The European Commission and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have both respectively approved Moderna’s vaccine, with the first authorisation coming from the FDA in December 2020.