A third coronavirus vaccine is being rolled out in the UK, and people in west Wales will be the first in line to receive doses of the Moderna vaccine today.

Jabs will be given out at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen in what Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething hailed as “another key milestone” in the fight against coronavirus.

"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."

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

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that 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.”

The rollout will start in England will start later this month.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the first batch of Moderna vaccines had arrived in the country on Monday and will be delivered over the coming months. It has not been confirmed when the rollout of Moderna will begin in Northern Ireland.

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More than 31 million first doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines have been administered in the UK, according to government data up to April 5, while more than five million second doses have been given out.

In Wales, more than 1.4 miliion people have now received a first vaccine dose, and more than 469,000 individuals have received a two-dose course. 

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 Astra-Zeneca, to continue the vaccine roll out 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.”

Meanwhile, a study has suggested contracting Covid-19 is “robustly associated” with an increased risk of developing mental health and neurological conditions in the six months after a diagnosis.

Researchers at the University of Oxford estimated that one in three virus survivors (34 per cent) were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition within six months of being infected.

The Moderna vaccine's arrival comes as a trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in children has been paused while regulators investigate reports of a rare form of blood clot among adults.

The University of Oxford said no safety concerns have arisen from the children’s trial and Sage adviser Professor Calum Semple said the decision to pause had been made out of “exceptional caution”, as he urged people to continue accepting Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs.