Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The British government Friday approved a COVID-19 vaccine created by Moderna for use there, making it the third approved in the country.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency gave the thumbs up for approval after receiving advice from the country's Independent Commission on Human Medicines.
"Today's approval brings more encouraging news to the public and the healthcare sector," MHRA Chief Executive Dr. June Raine said in a statement. "Having a third COVID-19 vaccine approved for supply following a robust and thorough assessment of all the available data is an important goal to have achieved and I am proud that the agency has helped to make this a reality.
"The progress we are now making for vaccines on the regulatory front, whilst not cutting any corners, is helping in our global fight against this disease and ultimately helping to save lives. I want to echo that our goal is always to put the protection of the public first," Raine said.
Last month, British health officials approved a vaccine by Pfizer and BioNTech for use to protect the public against the coronavirus. On Monday, health professionals started using another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Munir Pirmohamed, chair of the Expert Working Group of the Independent Commission on Human Medicines said, "As with all the COVID-19 vaccine data we have seen to date, we have ensured a robust and thorough safety assessment has been carried out with the independent experts that sit on this group."