Australia secures doses of a fourth COVID-19 vaccine

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Australia has secured a fourth COVID-19 vaccine with an agreement for 25 million doses of Moderna's mRNA technology.

The government has previously secured doses of another mRNA vaccine, produced by Pfizer and BioNTech, the adenovirus viral vector vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and its partner The University of Oxford, as well as Novavax's recombinant vaccine. The government has a separate agreement with CSL under which the Australian company is producing over 50 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Under the agreement, Moderna will supply 10 million doses of its vaccine to Australia by the end of 2021 and 15 million doses of its updated variant booster vaccine candidate to be delivered in 2022.

The agreement is subject to the vaccines securing TGA approval. The vaccine has already been approved, distributed and administered in multiple jurisdictions, including the US.

Moderna said it expects to submit an application to the TGA shortly. It also plans to open a commercial subsidiary in Australia in 2021.

“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 CEO Stéphane Bancel.

“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.”