The first consignment of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine doses has arrived in Australia and will be administered by community pharmacies around the country from the end of next week.
Almost 350,000 doses arrived on Friday night (17 September) as part of Australia’s original contracted supply, with a further 700,000 from the additional million doses secured from European Union member states due to arrive today (19 September).
Health minister Greg Hunt welcomed the arrival of the doses and said they were the first of two million to be supplied by Moderna in September from its Belgian plant.
Delivered to 1,800 community pharmacies
“We expect that these doses will be distributed to more than 1,800 community pharmacies across the country and put in into the arms of Australians in the next week,” the Minister said.
“A further 1,800 community pharmacies across the country will start to receive doses [in] the week commencing 27 September.
“To date, we have administered over 24 million Covid-19 vaccines across Australia, with more than 70 percent of Australians having received a first dose and 45 percent having received a second dose. These are important achievements as we move closer … to the vaccination rates required for us to safely reopen our country.”
According to Hunt, the additional Moderna vaccines will provide more opportunities for Australians to get vaccinated, including those aged 12-15 who recently joined the rollout. He encouraged anyone who has yet to receive the vaccine to make an immediate booking.
Key bodies have approved use of vaccine
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the Moderna vaccine, while the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended its use for Australians aged 12 and over.
Nationwide, more than 3,640 pharmacies have already agreed to administer the Moderna vaccine.
Australia has an advance purchase agreement with Moderna to secure 25-million doses of the vaccine – 10-million this year and 15-million in 2022. The new doses will go through the standard TGA batch-testing process, as with all other Covid-19 vaccines.
Australians wanting to book a Covid-19 vaccination can visit visit https://www.australia.gov.au/