Leo Says Moderna Approval Allows Major Increase in Weekly Vaccinations

Leo Varadkar - Smiling

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the decision by the European Medicines Agency to approve the Moderna vaccine will allow us to vaccinate around an extra 10,000 people a week.

Moderna is the second vaccine for the novel coroanvirus to receive approval from Europe’s medicines regulator, following the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, which was approved last month.

Following the EMA approval, the final step is approval by the European Commission, with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen saying the body is now “working at full speed” to approve it and make it available in the European Union.

How the vaccine works – The European Medicines Agency

COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna works by preparing the body to defend itself against COVID-19. It contains a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) which has instructions for making the spike protein. This is a protein on the surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which the virus needs to enter the body’s cells.

When a person is given the vaccine, some of their cells will read the mRNA instructions and temporarily produce the spike protein. The person’s immune system will then recognise this protein as foreign and produce antibodies and activate T cells (white blood cells) to attack it.

If, later on, the person comes into contact with SARS-CoV-2 virus, their immune system will recognise it and be ready to defend the body against it.

The mRNA from the vaccine does not stay in the body but is broken down shortly after vaccination.