Australia secures 25 million Moderna vaccines

Thursday, 13 May, 2021

Australia secures 25 million Moderna vaccines

The Australian Government has announced it has secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to further diversify its vaccine portfolio, as well as to provide access to a booster or variant vaccine should this be required in the future.

This is the second messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine to be purchased by the government, providing access to the current Moderna vaccine or variant-specific versions of the vaccine developed by Moderna, to address longer-term immunity or emerging viral variants in the first half of 2022. The purchase agreement, which was recommended by the government’s Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group, includes 10 million doses in 2021 and 15 million doses of an updated variant booster vaccine in 2022.

To date, the Moderna vaccine has shown an overall vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 of 94.1%, and 100% efficacy against severe COVID-19. It has also shown strong protection of 90% efficacy against COVID-19 for at least six months after the second dose, which is recommended to be given 28 days after the first.

The Moderna vaccine has been approved by leading regulatory authorities across the world, though supply in Australia will only commence should the vaccine be approved as safe and effective by the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). An application by Moderna to the TGA is expected shortly.

The government also remains in discussions with Moderna in relation to establishing a manufacturing facility in Australia for mRNA vaccines. The government said onshore manufacturing would ensure a secure, long-term supply of Moderna’s mRNA-based vaccines against COVID-19, including variants, and for potential future pandemics.

“We appreciate the partnership and support from the government of Australia with this first supply agreement for doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates,” said Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel. “As we seek to protect people around the world with our COVID-19 vaccine and potentially our variant booster candidates, we look forward to continuing discussions with Australia about establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities.”

Image credit: © CHETRONI

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