Australia has welcomed the news of the approval of the Moderna vaccine in the fight against coronavirus but not all are happy with how long it took.
On Monday, Australia’s medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), announced it had granted provisional approval to the Covid-19 vaccine for Australians aged 18 and over.
The US-made Moderna should soon be deployed alongside Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs and could ultimately be approved for babies as young as six months.
It is recommended that the vaccine is given in two doses that are administered 28 days apart.
Australia has ordered a total of 25 million doses of the jab with at least 10 million expected by Christmas.
Based in Cambridge, in the US state of Massachusetts, Moderna was founded in 2010.
A key component of TGA chief John Skerritt’s announcement was how results of the vaccine overseas proved “really exciting”.
Moderna is already proving effective around the world, with the TGA citing the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, Switzerland and Singapore, but Mr Skerritt pointed to results out of the United States, showing the jab is proving to be 93 per cent effective against Covid-19 infection, 98 per cent against severe disease and 100 per cent against death.
“We are pleased that our COVID-19 vaccine is showing durable efficacy of 93 per cent through six months, but recognise that the Delta variant is a significant new threat so we must remain vigilant,” said CEO Stephane Bancel in a statement.
Vaccinating against Covid-19 is the only way for Australians to get their normal lives back, but as a nation we’re struggling.
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Half of the US population is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the White House confirmed, as vaccination rates rise again in response to the surging Delta variant.
That means more than 165 million people have received either the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson shot.
In Australia, Moderna should soon be deployed alongside Pfizer and AstraZeneca jabs, as well as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine when that receives the final tick of approval.
It aims to produce between 800 million and a billion doses of its jab this year, and with its overseas success, one federal government MP has asked why it took so long to arrive in Australia.
“This has been a concern for me for a long time about the TGA, why it needs to go through its own process around determining whether a medicine can be approved for use in Australia when its been approved by the EU regulatory body, when its been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the United States, by Canada, by a whole bunch of other people,” Northern Beaches MP Jason Falinski told the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas.