“We have ordered 17 million doses that will be going into arms across the UK in the coming weeks,” he said, adding, “Please get your jab as soon as you are contacted.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “delighted” over the rollout.
Delighted that we will begin the UK rollout of the @moderna_tx vaccine in west Wales today.
The UK government has secured doses on behalf of the entire nation.
3 in 5 adults have now had the vaccine and it’s saving lives. When you get the call, get the jab.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) April 7, 2021
“The UK government has secured doses on behalf of the entire nation,” he wrote on Twitter.
Public health is a devolved policy area in the UK, which means that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are primarily in charge of the local fight against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, also known as the novel coronavirus.
Supplies of the vaccine arrived in Wales on Tuesday, and 5,000 doses were sent to vaccination centres in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area, the Welsh government said.
On Wednesday morning, Elle Taylor, 24, an unpaid carer for her 82-year-old grandmother, became the first person in the UK to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at West Wales General Hospital, Sky News reported.
The UK medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), authorised the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 8. It became the third vaccine to be approved after the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs.
Moderna uses the same mRNA technology as Pfizer’s shots but can be stored at normal fridge temperatures unlike its rival U.S. vaccine, which must be kept and shipped at ultra-low temperatures.
The shot is expected to be used in the rest of the United Kingdom by the middle of April.
According to the UK government, the Moderna vaccine is 94 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.
After the Moderna vaccine was rolled out in the United States, there have been some reports of adverse effects.
A 39-year-old healthy single mother from Utah died four days after taking a second dose of the Moderna vaccine on Feb. 1, though officials said there were no links between the vaccine and deaths in Utah.
Reuters contributed to this report.