The Moderna vaccine – the third to be approved for use in the UK – is to be given to patients in Wales today.

The first doses will be administered at West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, the Welsh Government said.

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

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

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.

Wales Health Minister Vaughan Gething said the rollout is “another key milestone in our fight” against coronavirus.

He said: “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.”

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.”

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”.