UK orders five million doses of Moderna vaccine, eyes spring arrival
By William James and Alistair Smout LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has secured 5 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc after it reported positive trial results, health minister Matt Hancock said on Monday, with the earliest doses expected for delivery in spring. Interim data from a late-stage trial indicated Moderna's vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19
By William James and Alistair Smout
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain has secured 5 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc
Interim data from a late-stage trial indicated Moderna's vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19.
"We have today secured an initial agreement for 5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine," Hancock said at a news conference.
Britain had previously secured supply deals for a total of 350 million vaccine doses from six different suppliers, including Pfizer Inc
Earlier, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said the government had prioritised deals with vaccine developers who could provide early supply to Britain and have advanced manufacturing supply chains in place.
Asked if he regretted not being able to buy more of the Moderna vaccine, Hancock said Britain expected to have other vaccines sooner.
"The Moderna vaccine doesn't come on stream until the spring," Hancock said. "I'm just really pleased that we've got those early vaccines that will be available early, and we've already got the orders of those in."
Britain expects to take delivery of the Pfizer vaccine before the Moderna shot becomes available, as well as AstraZeneca's candidate if it proves to be effective.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam said data from late-stage trials of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine had not been reviewed, so it was still unknown if it works.
But he added that trial results from both the Pfizer and partner BioNTech <22UAy.F> vaccine and Moderna's augured well for other candidates that target the coronavirus' spike protein.
"This really does begin to show us that the spike protein is a completely plausible and effective target for vaccines to be working against," Van Tam said.
"We're feeling in a happier place than we were. But do we know the (Oxford/AstraZeneca) data? No we don't."
(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Elizabeth Piper, Alistair Smout, Michael Holden and William James, Editing by Kate Holton and Bill Berkrot)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.