ATAGI recommends Moderna for teens, extra doses secured
The Australian Government has secured an additional one million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, recently approved for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, from European Union member states to further bolster Australia’s vaccination program.
On 4 September, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced that it had provisionally approved the use of the Moderna vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 17 years, having already approved the vaccine in adults aged 18 and over, in the form of two doses given 28 days apart. With the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) now making its own recommendation of Moderna for Australians 12 years and older, any Australian aged 12–59 will soon be able to access these doses from their community pharmacy.
Back in May, Australia arranged an advance purchase agreement with Moderna to secure 25 million doses of the vaccine — 10 million this year and 15 million of an update variant booster vaccine in 2022. The one million extra doses, sourced by the government from surplus vaccines destined for Spain, Czech Republic, Portugal and Bulgaria, will arrive along with the first shipment of already-contracted doses within the next week and go directly to local community pharmacies across the country.
“Families will now be able to go along together to their pharmacy to get their vaccinations,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“This additional supply also enables us to direct urgent supplies where they are needed most, and make up the final ground for everyone in Australia to be offered a jab.
“In October we’re going to have enough vaccines in the country to have offered everyone a jab, meaning we’ll be able to take the next steps in our plan to safely reopen Australia.”
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said local community pharmacies will begin to receive Moderna doses within a fortnight; these doses will be shared with over 3600 community pharmacies across Australia. Up to 1800 pharmacies will begin to receive doses through the week of 20 September and the next 1800 pharmacies will follow shortly after.
Australian adolescents also have the option of receiving the Pfizer vaccine, with bookings Australia-wide opening for teenagers aged 12 to 15 as of today.
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