Meanwhile, early-stage trials of Valneva vaccine to be made in Scotland show positive results
US company Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is being rolled out in Wales from today.
The UK government has ordered 17 million doses of the vaccine, which was authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in January following successful clinical trials.
Supplies of the vaccine arrived in Wales on 6 April, with 5,000 doses sent to vaccination centres in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area, the Welsh government announced.
The first doses of the jab were administered at the Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen on 7 April.
“This is another key milestone in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething.
The vaccine adds to the UK’s arsenal of two previously approved and rolled-out vaccines, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
“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,” said Gething.
“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.”
Meanwhile, data from an early stage phase one and two study of the French Valneva Covid-19 vaccine suggest the jab is safe and effective, the company said on 6 April.
More than 90 per cent of the 153 study participants developed “significant levels of antibodies” to the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein across all dose groups tested.
The company now plans to start a phase three clinical trial by the end of April 2021, subject to regulatory approval.
If proven successful, the UK will have access to 100 million doses of the vaccine, with production set up in Scotland.
Health and social care secretary Matt Hancock said it was “fantastic” to see that the vaccine “produces a strong immune response”.
He added: “This vaccine will be made onshore in Livingston in Scotland, giving another boost to British life science, and if approved will play an important role in protecting our communities. I look forward to seeing the results of the upcoming phase three trial.”