Authorisation for the use of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine has been granted by the EU Medicines Agency.

This is the second Covid-19 vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after they approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine earlier in December and which is being currently rolled out across the European Union.

The Moderna vaccine uses the same mRNA technology as that of the Pfizer vaccine and also requires two separate injections a few weeks apart. The vaccine requires to be stored at -20’C which causes less of a logistical headache than that of the Pfizer vaccine which has to be stored at -75’C and is currently stored in nine ultra-low temperature freezer.

The EU has already agreed to a deal with Moderna that will see the EU receive an initial 80 million doses of the vaccine. The vaccine now just needs to be approved by the EU Commission which should occur within the next 24 hours.

It is estimated that Ireland will receive just shy of 900,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine under its arrangement with the EU which distributes the vaccine to EU member states on a pro rata population bases.

The EU holds an option of purchasing a further 80 millions doses of the Moderna vaccine, an offer that will likely be taken up.

It has been suggested that when the Moderna vaccine arrives in Ireland, the health service will be able to increase the number of people being vaccinated by 10,000 a week in the first few weeks of the roll-out.

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