US company Moderna has announced a new supply agreement with Australia for 25 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine.

The biotechnology firm said this would include 10 million doses of its jab against the original "ancestral" strain of coronavirus in 2021 and 15 million doses of its variant booster candidate for delivery in 2022.

The agreement is subject to approval of the messenger RNA vaccine and booster candidates by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the company said in a press release.

"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 Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna.

RELATED: Proposal for SA facility to mass produce Pfizer and Moderna jabs

"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."

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not immediately respond to news.com.au's request for comment.

The World Health Organisation added the Moderna jab to the growing list of approved emergency-use vaccines on May 2 as the world struggles with a global supply issue.

The US Food and Drug Administration authorised the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine on December 18, 2020, and the jab has also been authorised for use in Canada, Israel, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, Qatar, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Brunei. It is currently under review in other countries.

The vaccine, which is administered in two doses, has a reported efficacy of 94.1 per cent after second dose.

 

 

RELATED: Call for Australia to change its vaccination rollout

It uses the same process as the Pfizer one, taking a genetic snippet for the coronavirus spike protein and protecting it in an oily pod so it can be delivered to our cells.

Our immune system sees the spikes that are then generated as a sign that we've been infected and starts its defence, building our response to the real illness.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall has spoken to Health Minister Greg Hunt about a proposal to manufacture Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at a facility in the state. The manufacturing facility in Thebarton, in Adelaide's inner west, has the capacity to mass produce the mRNA vaccines within 12 months.

Only two vaccines are currently approved for use in Australia - the Pfizer/BioNTech jab and the Oxford/AstraZeneca one.

Australia has delivered only 2.66 million doses of vaccines in a population of more than 25 million people and is currently vaccinating 400,000 people per week.

The rollout has been affected not only by supply issues but by reports of blood clots among people who had received the AstraZeneca jab, with the Pfizer vaccine now the preferred choice for under-50s.

Originally published as Moderna announces Australia supply deal



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