Australia secures 25 million doses of Moderna vaccine
The Australian Government has recently secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, further diversifying the country’s vaccine portfolio.
The joint media statement with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt states the Moderna vaccine will increase Australia’s supply of COVID-19 vaccines, providing more flexibility for the national vaccine rollout and securing early access to possible vaccinations for emerging COVID-19 variants around the world.
Moderna is the second mRNA vaccine purchased by the Government. The agreement is said to include 10 million doses in 2021 and 15 million doses of the updated variant booster vaccine in 2022, helping the Government in dealing with longer-term immunity or emerging viral variants in the first half of 2022.
“Studies show that the vaccine’s overall efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 is 94.1 per cent. It also has a 100 per cent efficacy against severe COVID-19 and a 90 per cent efficacy rate against COVID-19 for at least six months after the second dose,” the statement said.
“The vaccine has been approved by leading regulatory authorities across the world. It is used successfully in the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Singapore.”
The agreement with Moderna came about after the Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group, the Government’s advisory group on vaccine purchases, recommended the Moderna vaccine.
The vaccination is likely to be two doses given 28 days apart. A strong booster and emerging variants supply will be provided if necessary.
Supplies to Australia will only commence once it has been approved as safe and effective by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Australia currently has five separate agreements in securing more than 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Around $6 billion has been invested to support the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.
The Government is also in discussion with Moderna on their plans to establish an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility in Australia. Onshore manufacturing would ensure a secure, long-term supply of Moderna’s mRNA-based vaccines against COVID-19, including variants, and potential future pandemics.