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It follows on the heels of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines, which have already been used to vaccinate more than one million people throughout the UK. The first batch of vaccines has been given to the over 80s and healthcare workers, such as doctors and nurses.
The rollout has been slower than anticipated, with the first vaccine being delivered in early December.
The Moderna vaccine is given in the same way the Oxford and Pfizer vaccines are, with two shots needed for the full effect.
The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines do not contain the virus and cannot cause Covid-19.
A type of vaccine commonly referred to as an mRNA vaccine, it works by delivering instructions to the body to make the spike protein used by the coronavirus to enter your body’s cells.
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When someone is given the vaccine, some of their cells will read the mRNA instructions and temporarily produce the spike protein.
This means the person’s immune system will then recognise this protein as foreign and produce antibodies and white blood cells to attack it.
If, later on, the person comes into contact with Covid-19, their immune system will recognise it and be ready to defend the body against it.
Can pregnant women have the Moderna vaccine?
Neither the NHS or the JCVI have outlined whether or not it is safe for pregnant women to take the Moderna vaccine.
However, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in America and the Independent Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has said pregnant women should take a vaccine.
The vaccine has not been tested on pregnant women, so there is limited data on how people who are pregnant respond to the vaccines.
The CDC has said: “mRNA vaccines do not contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 and, therefore, cannot give someone COVID-19.
“Additionally, mRNA vaccines do not interact with a person’s DNA because the mRNA does not enter the nucleus of the cell.
“Cells break down the mRNA quickly.
“Based on how mRNA vaccines work, experts believe they are unlikely to pose a specific risk for people who are pregnant.
“However, the actual risks of mRNA vaccines to the pregnant person and her fetus are unknown because these vaccines have not been studied in pregnant women.”
The vaccine is also unlikely to reach and cross the placenta, according to Dr. Christian Pettker, a high-risk pregnancy specialist at Yale Medicine and professor of obstetrics, gynaecology, and reproductive sciences at Yale School of Medicine.
Dr Pettker said: “Based on current knowledge, experts believe that mRNA vaccines will not pose a risk for people who are pregnant.”
Pregnant women can also take the Oxford and Pfizer vaccines.
Dr Ivan Muscat, Deputy Medical Officer of Health for Jersey, explained: “The Pfizer and Oxford vaccines cannot cause an infection in either the mother or baby.
“The data available so far does not show any safety concerns in pregnancy. This advice is the same for those breastfeeding.
“Furthermore, there is no need to avoid pregnancy after receiving a vaccination.
“Neither is there a need for a pregnancy test before vaccination.”
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