The third COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled-out across Wales from today (Wednesday 7 April) with patients in Carmarthenshire becoming the first in the UK to receive it.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the Moderna vaccine as safe and effective in January 2021 following stringent clinical trials.
Supplies arrived in Wales yesterday (Tuesday 6 April) with 5,000 doses being sent to vaccination centres in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area.
The first doses will be administered at Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen today (7 April).
The Moderna vaccine is a two dose vaccine given at an interval of between four and 12 weeks.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething said:
“This is another key milestone in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. A third vaccine for use in Wales significantly adds to our defences in the face of coronavirus and will help to protect our most vulnerable.
“Every vaccine given to someone in Wales is a small victory against the virus and we would encourage everyone to go for their vaccine when invited.
“If people cannot attend their appointment we ask them to let the health board know via the contact details provided in their invitation as this vaccination slot can be offered to someone else rather than be wasted.
“Once you have been vaccinated, you should continue to follow guidance, staying two metres apart, washing your hands and wearing a face covering to protect those around you.
“I want to thank all those who have been working tirelessly to deliver the vaccine across Wales and help us meet our second milestone of offering a vaccine to all phase one priority groups. I also want to thank the 1.5 million people in Wales that have already come forward for their vaccine and done their bit in this national effort.”
Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to use the Moderna vaccine for deployment across west Wales.
“We will be using this new vaccine, alongside Oxford Astra-Zeneca, to continue the vaccine roll out to our communities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.
“We are incredibly lucky to have a third vaccine in Wales, with a long shelf life and the ability to be easily transported, to help deliver the vaccination programme to small clinics across our rural communities.”