A third Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.

The Moderna jab was given the green light on Friday by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

It comes after vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca were previously approved.

However, unlike the previous two, the Moderna vaccine will not be available for use immediately.

The first doses are not expected to arrive until the spring.

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The vaccine is 94% effective in preventing disease, including in the elderly.

The Government has also agreed to purchase an additional 10 million doses of the Moderna vaccine on top of its previous order of seven million, taking the total to 17 million.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is further great news and another weapon in our arsenal to tame this awful disease.

“We have already vaccinated nearly 1.5 million people across the UK and Moderna’s vaccine will allow us to accelerate our vaccination programme even further once doses become available from the spring.

“While we immunise those most at risk from Covid, I urge everyone to continue following the rules to keep cases low to protect our loved ones.”

Scottish secretary Alister Jack said: “The regulator’s approval of the Moderna vaccine is great news. With three vaccines now approved there is most definitely light at the end of the tunnel.

“The UK Government has procured and paid for millions of vaccine doses for people in all parts of the UK.

“We have doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines right now. It is the responsibility of the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to get that current supply of jabs into as many people’s arms as soon as possible.”