The Moderna vaccine is coming to York, the man in charge of York’s inoculation programme revealed today.
Speaking on YorkMix Radio, Prof Mike Holmes, clinical lead for the York Vaccination Centre, said the new vaccine was heading to the Askham Bar hub soon.
Today saw the first person in the UK given the Moderna vaccine, at a hospital in Wales.
It is the third coronavirus jab to be rolled out in the UK. Britain has bought 17 million doses of that vaccine – enough for 8.5 million people.
Developed in the US, Moderna trial results showed it was 94% successful at preventing Covid, and 100% effective at preventing severe illness.
Prof Holmes said of the Moderna vaccine today: “We’re going to be one of the sites in the north of England where it’s going to be rolled out, at Askham Bar.
“We’re still talking to the NHS about the detail of that. You’ve got to make sure everything’s right, from delivery to storage to the protocols we use, to training staff.
“So there’s a lot of work to do. But actually, it’s looking like it might happen as early as next week. Still some discussions to have and training to give.
“I’ll be able to give more information next week in terms of the exact detail of when that’s going to start.”
AstraZeneca benefits outweigh risks
The benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh any ‘tiny’ risk for most people, Prof Holmes said.
European regulators have ruled that unusual blood clots were “very rare side effects” of the jab.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the UK said there were still huge benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19, and has not concluded that it causes rare clots, although it says the link is getting firmer.
Due to a very small number of blood clots in younger people and a changing risk/benefit, those under the age of 30 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna instead of the AstraZeneca jab.
Prof Holmes told breakfast presenter Ben Fry it was hard to know whether the publicity about the side effects had stopped many people coming to the York vaccine hub for their jab.
“There’s a few what we call DNA – did not attend for appointment. But actually, the number of people left to vaccinate is getting smaller and smaller. So it’s hard to see.”
He said the decision to halt a trial giving AstraZeneca to children was “common sense”: “When you’ve got a vaccine where there’s a question being raised about a possible link, why would you then test it on a child while we’re still investigating that link?
“I applaud the bodies who’ve taken that step. Let’s get more information. Let’s understand that and then we can move forward.”