Unpaid carer, 24, becomes first UK patient to receive Moderna vaccine as rollout begins in Wales

  • Watch ITV Cymru Wales' video report by West Wales reporter, Jess Main

The Moderna vaccine, the third coronavirus jab to be approved for use in the UK, has started to be given to patients in Wales.

The first dose was administered at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen on Wednesday morning as Wales became the first UK nation to distribute Moderna's vaccine.

Unpaid carer Elle Taylor, 24, from Ammanford, is the first Briton to receive the vaccine after getting the jab at the hospital.

Five thousand doses of the jab were sent to vaccination centres in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area on Tuesday.

The vaccine’s approval by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency was announced on January 8.

Miss Taylor said she was "thrilled" and "honoured" to be the first UK patient to receive the Moderna vaccine. Credit: PA Images

Speaking after receiving the first dose of the Moderna vaccine to be administered in the UK, Ms Taylor said: "I'm very excited and very happy.

"I'm an unpaid carer for my grandmother so it is very important to me that I get it, so I can care for her properly and safely.

"My grandmother has had her first dose and she is going for her second dose on Saturday."

Ms Taylor said she only found out on Tuesday evening that she was to be the first Briton to receive the Moderna jab in the UK.

"It was great, the nurses were lovely and it didn't hurt," she said.

Asked how she felt to be a trailblazer for millions of other people, Miss Taylor said: "I feel thrilled and really happy and honoured, and I just hope it goes well for everybody."

The UK has bought 17 million doses of the Moderna jab – enough for 8.5 million people.

Phase three results suggest efficacy against Covid-19 was 94.1%, and efficacy against severe Covid-19 was 100%.

It will be rolled out alongside the Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said he was “delighted we can start the UK rollout of the Moderna vaccine in west Wales today”.

He added: “The UK government has secured vaccines on behalf of the entire nation and the vaccination programme has shown our country working together at its best.

“Three out of every five people across the whole United Kingdom have received at least one dose, and today we start with the third approved vaccine. Wherever you live, when you get the call, get the jab.”

Ros Jervis, director of public health for Hywel Dda University Health Board, said: “We’re delighted to be able to use the Moderna vaccine for deployment across west Wales.

“We will be using this new vaccine, alongside Oxford/AstraZeneca, to continue the vaccine rollout to our communities in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire.

“We are incredibly lucky to have a third vaccine in Wales, with a long shelf life and the ability to be easily transported, to help deliver the vaccination programme to small clinics across our rural communities.”

Wales becomes the first UK nation to start administering the Moderna vaccine, as doses began to be administered at Glangwili Hospital. Credit: PA Images

The Welsh Health Minister Vaughan Gething said: "This is another key milestone in our fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. A third vaccine for use in Wales significantly adds to our defences in the face of coronavirus and will help to protect our most vulnerable.

“Every vaccine given to someone in Wales is a small victory against the virus and we would encourage everyone to go for their vaccine when invited.

“I want to thank all those who have been working tirelessly to deliver the vaccine across Wales and help us meet our second milestone of offering a vaccine to all phase one priority groups. I also want to thank the 1.5 million people in Wales that have already come forward for their vaccine and done their bit in this national effort.”

Reacting to the news, a Welsh Conservative spokesperson said: "The Conservative Government’s decision to go it alone has been fully vindicated with the phenomenal results of the British vaccination programme, and the roll out of the Moderna vaccine, administered by our outstanding NHS and volunteers, will only boost our ability to protect Welsh people and restore our freedoms.”

The Moderna vaccine was approved for use in the UK in January this year. Credit: PA Images

Scotland is due to receive more than a million of the doses ordered by the UK and First Minister there, Nicola Sturgeon, said they have already been factored into planning for the vaccination programme.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said the Moderna vaccine will be rolled out in England “as soon as possible this month”.

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Tuesday morning that it would be deployed “around the third week of April”.

It has not been confirmed when the rollout of Moderna will begin in Northern Ireland.