The ongoing UK-EU vaccine row will not disrupt millions of Europe-manufactured Moderna vaccines set to arrive in Britain throughout spring, according to Downing Street.
Boris Johnson’s spokesperson today said the government “remains confident” of its vaccine supplies and that “we’ll use the Moderna vaccine from spring”, despite an escalating row over vaccine supplies with Brussels.
European Council President Charles Michel yesterday accused the UK of blocking vaccine shipments to the EU, which Boris Johnson today said was “completely false”.
It is the latest stage of a row over vaccine supplies, which earlier this year saw Brussels make a quickly overturned decision to breach the Brexit divorce agreement and call for border checks on the island of Ireland.
The UK is set to receive around 17m doses of the Moderna vaccine this spring, which is manufactured in Spain and Switzerland.
Johnson’s spokesperson denied that the EU will escalate the UK-EU conflict by blocking shipments of the jab.
“We remain confident of our supplies, we’ve said that throughout the vaccine programme and that remains the case,” he said.
“I’m not going to get into detail about specific manufacturers but we’ve said we’ll use the Moderna vaccine from spring and we’re confident of our supplies.”
The UK’s medicines regulatory body authorised the Moderna vaccine for emergency use in Britain in January this year, making it the third jab to be get the green light among the UK’s vaccine portfolio.
The government had initially ordered just 7m doses of the US firm’s jab, after hedging its bets on vaccines produced closer to home.
But health secretary Matt Hancock swiftly ordered an additional 10m doses after it was granted approval in Britain, taking the UK’s total order of the Moderna vaccine to 17m.
The drug proved 94.5 per cent effective in protecting against coronavirus in clinical trials. It may prove easier to distribute than other products such as Pfizer’s jab because it does not have to be stored and transported at sub-zero temperatures.