Moderna cuts UK COVID vaccine deliveries as pregnant women told mRNA jabs are safe

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US pharmaceutical firm Moderna (MRNA) will deliver fewer than expected COVID vaccines to the UK, Canada and other countries following a shortfall in production in its European supply chain. 
The drugmaker said that shipments to the European Union and Switzerland are on track. 
But, added that it will make "adjustments" to expected second quarter delivery supplies in affected nations. 
As a result, the Boston-based company will reduce the number of doses it is sending to the UK from this month, which will impact the inoculation targets in Q2. 
Moderna produces vaccines for non-US markets in a plant in Switzerland, which is run by contract manufacturer Lonza. It fills vials for Great Britain and EU countries in Spain. 
It comes after the UK announced on Friday that pregnant women in the country should be offered the Moderna and Pfizer (PFE) COVID vaccines, where available instead of the Oxford/AstraZeneca (AZN.L) one. 
New advice from the government's Joint Commission on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said pregnant women are eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, and should be offered a jab at the same time as the rest of the population. 
Assessments should be made based on their age and any clinical risks, the JCVI said. 
The Moderna jab, which works in a similar way to the Pfizer vaccine, uses synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) technology that can be quickly tweaked to address new mutations of a virus. 
Scientists have suggested the changes could be made in as little as six weeks.
It is given in two shots, one month apart.

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Posted 19 Apr 2021

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