COVID-19: Brits have first access to vaccines, treatments as new science supercenter opens | UK News


Brits will have access to the latest vaccines and treatments when a new research and manufacturing center opens in the UK.

American pharmaceutical giant modern opens a new mRNA innovation and technology center that will develop vaccines for a broad range of respiratory diseases, including COVID Vaccines that can protect against multiple variants.

Construction is set to begin later this year, with the first mRNA vaccine to be manufactured in the UK in 2025.

Full details of the company, including its location, are not yet available and have been described as “commercially sensitive”.

But government officials said the deal will result in NHS patients being able to access “state-of-the-art” vaccines while also being able to enroll in clinical trials for vaccines developed by the company.

Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine used messenger RNA (mRNA) – these vaccines teach the body’s cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response.

It is hoped that the technology will continue to be used to fight a host of other diseases, including cancer, dementia, the flu and heart disease.

Ministers said a new strategic partnership with the company will help future-proof the UK against future health threats.

explainer: Everything you need to know about the Moderna vaccine

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “We are bringing home-grown supercharged vaccines straight to our shores.

“I want the UK to be the smartest and the best at research and technology, creating more jobs and securing our economic future.

“Our investment guarantees weapon strikes against some of the toughest viruses out there and puts us at the forefront of the fight against future threats.

“We’ve all seen what vaccines can do, and today’s partnership brings us one step closer to finding cures for some of the most devastating diseases.”

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Next Generation

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the partnership with Moderna would “consolidate Britain’s status as a scientific superpower” and boost the economy through job creation

He said it could also help “unlock the next generation of cutting-edge vaccines.”

“mRNA is a truly transformative technology and we’ve seen its life-saving power during the pandemic,” he said.

Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said the firm was “excited” to be working with the UK.

And the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, called the announcement “great news for Britain’s R&D activities and future capabilities”.

Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance during a media briefing at Downing Street, London, on the coronavirus (Covid-19).  Picture date: Tuesday January 4, 2022.
Sir Patrick Vallance

He added: “Rapid, state-of-the-art vaccines have been critical in the response to the COVID pandemic.

“The development of the next generation of mRNA vaccines will be instrumental in improving our ability to prevent and respond to a broad spectrum of respiratory diseases in the future.”

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