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 last night 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 tomorrow.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, 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 their Belgium plant.

“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,” Minister Hunt said.

“A further 1,800 community pharmacies across the country will start to receive doses the week commencing 27 September.

“To date, we have administered over 24 million COVID-19 vaccines across Australia, with more than 70 per cent of Australians having received a first dose and 45 per cent having received a second dose. These are important achievements as we move closer, every day, to the vaccination rates required for us to safely reopen our country.

“The additional Moderna vaccines will provide more opportunities for Australians to get vaccinated, including those aged 12-15 who recently joined the rollout, and I encourage anyone who hasn’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet to book one today.”

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended the use of the Moderna vaccine for Australians aged 12 and over.

Nationwide, more than 3,640 pharmacies have already put their hands up 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 Moderna vaccine doses will go through the standard TGA batch-testing process as all other COVID-19 vaccines.

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