The first Moderna jabs were delivered in Lancashire and South Cumbria this week as the NHS vaccination programme reaches another milestone.
Preston’s large scale vaccination centre based within the St John’s Shopping Centre will initially use the newest vaccine, as the NHS continues to expand the vaccination programme.
For those aged 18-29 who are eligible for a jab, the Moderna vaccine provides another alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine, in line with updated MHRA guidance last week.
More than 888,000 people in Lancashire and South Cumbria have now received their first jab, with more than 237,000 second jabs also being given.
Lancashire and South Cumbria Covid-19 Vaccination Director Jane Scattergood said: “The Moderna rollout marks another milestone in the vaccination programme.
“We now have a third jab in our armoury to fight against COVID-19, and NHS staff will be using it at one of our largest and busiest sites, with more coming online as supplies expand.
“England’s vaccination programme is our hope at the end of a year like no other, so please do come forward and get your jab when you’re invited. It is safe, quick and effective – it will protect you and your loved ones.”
Moderna can be stored for 30 days at normal fridge temperatures, but should it need to be stored for longer, it can last for six months at -20C.
Along with Pfizer, it will be used by the NHS for some of the appointments rearranged for under 30s who were due to receive the AstraZeneca jab.
During April the NHS is focusing on second doses, but appointments for first doses are still available for those in the initial cohorts who have not yet been protected.
People who had their first jab at a vaccination centre or pharmacy-led service should already have a date for their second, while those vaccinated at a GP practice will be called back.
Anyone aged 45 and over or who has a learning disability, is clinically vulnerable, clinically extremely vulnerable (at high risk from coronavirus) or an unpaid carer is being invited to book their appointment on the National Booking System or by calling 119.
The NHS is also inviting those eligible for a jab by letter and text, with some GPs also calling unvaccinated patients personally to encourage uptake.
For more information on the Lancashire and South Cumbria Vaccination Programme visit www.healthierlsc.co.uk/covidvaccine