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Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt. Source: Reuters
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  • Australia’s medical regulator has provisionally approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine
  • Like the Pfizer vaccine it is set to be administered to children 12 years and older, though that will have to be approved separately
  • According to new research, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine maintains a high efficiency of 93 per cent after six months
  • The biotech company has been advising a third shot to maintain high level of protection against the virus as different strains continue to spread globally
  • Moderna’s vaccine has been cleared for emergency and conditional use in more than 50 countries

Australia’s medical regulator has provisionally approved Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

The approval paves the way for the Moderna vaccine’s use from September, when one million doses are due to arrive. Three million doses are expected to land each month in October, November and December, Prime Minster Scott Morrison has said.

“We will have 10 million of the Moderna doses arriving before the end of this year,” Mr Morrison said on Monday afternoon in Canberra.

The Federal Government has bought 25 million doses of Moderna, 10 million of which will be used for vaccinations and 15 million as boosters.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said in the past week a total of 1.3 million Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines had been administered across the country as the rollout continued to accelerate.

“On five days last week there were over 200,000 vaccinations,” Mr Hunt said of the daily rate. “That acceleration has actually happened. But these additional vaccines will allow it to continue further.”

Mr Hunt said he expected Australia’s vaccination rate to surge into the millions thanks to the availability of Moderna.

“What we do know is that the capacity is now fully established to deliver over two million doses per week of AstraZeneca plus Pfizer and Moderna, as supplies become available,” he said.

The Moderna vaccine is set to be rolled out nationwide, with the majority of doses to be used as booster shots for people who have received AstraZeneca or Pfizer. 

Like the Pfizer vaccine it is expected to be administered to children 12 years and older, though that will have to be approved separately.

According to new research, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine maintains a high efficiency against the virus after six months.

Over the six months, the biotech company said its vaccine was about 93 per cent effective after the second dose.

Moderna has been advising a third shot to maintain high level of protection against the virus as different strains of COVID-19 are spreading around the globe.

This advice comes as public health officials around the world are debating whether additional boosters will be necessary as the fast-spreading Delta variant has become dominant in many countries, leading to a surge in cases and hospitalisations.

Moderna’s vaccine was authorised as emergency use in adults in the United States in December 2020 and has since been cleared for emergency and conditional use in more than 50 countries.

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