Greg Hunt CONFIRMS Australia will receive 25 million doses of ‘highly-effective’ Moderna coronavirus vaccine
- Moderna will deliver 25m Covid vaccine shots to Australia by the end of 2022
- 10 million doses will arrive this year and 15 million booster shots next year
- Health Minister Greg Hunt has now confirmed the previously unknown purchase
Australia has secured 25 million doses of Moderna coronavirus jabs from the United States, with the surprise deal also paving the way for local production of mRNA vaccines.
The first 10 million doses of the double-shot jab will be delivered by the end of this year, destined for people under 50.
Another 15 million booster shots are set to arrive next year, designed to guard against emerging COVID-19 strains.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was important to prepare for possible variants of the disease.
Moderna will deliver 10 million doses this year and 15 million booster shots next year provided the Therapeutic Goods Administration approves both jabs
‘We’re now well into the phase of dealing with what’s coming next because the pandemic is not going anywhere,’ he said on Thursday.
Labor’s health spokesman Mark Butler wants the government to explain why the deal has taken so long.
The US, Canada, the UK, European Union, Korea, Japan and Israel are already using the jab.
‘Tens and tens of millions of doses of this state-of-the-art vaccine have already been delivered to the people in those countries,’ he told reporters in Canberra.
‘Why do Australians have to wait until the end of this year?’
The vaccine and booster shot are still subject to approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration before they can be used in Australia.
The US, Canada, the UK, European Union, Korea, Japan and Israel are already using the jab (pictured, a different vaccine being administered in Brisbane)
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government had not changed its position on a no-fault compensation scheme for Moderna.
Mr Hunt said the company agreed to the government’s terms.
Moderna is an mRNA – or messenger RNA – vaccine, which teaches cells how to make a protein to trigger an immune response.
Australia does not have the domestic capacity to manufacture such a jab.
But the US biotech company has expressed interest in setting up an Australian base.
Health Minister Greg Hunt (pictured on Thursday) said the government had not changed its position on a no-fault compensation scheme for Moderna
‘We look forward to continuing discussions with Australia about establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities,’ Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said.
The government will commence an approach to market in coming days for mRNA vaccine manufacturing in Australia.
But Health department secretary Brendan Murphy said it was not likely to be established before 2022.
In the meantime, the federal government is focused on rolling out the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines.
More than 2.8 million vaccine doses have been administered across the country.