The Federal government has secured an additional one million Moderna doses from numerous European Union (EU) member states, with the stock to go to local community pharmacies across Australia.
It is expected the doses will arrive in the next week and will be delivered to 3,600 community pharmacies, alongside the first shipment of already contracted vaccines.
1,800 pharmacies will receive doses through the week of 20 September, with the remaining half to follow shortly after.
Doses were sourced from surplus vaccines destined for Spain, Czech Republic, Portugal, and Bulgaria.
“Families will now be able to go along together to their pharmacy to get their vaccinations,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“In October we’re going to have enough vaccines in the country to have offered everyone a jab meaning we’ll be able to take the next steps in our plan to safely reopen Australia.
“First thing’s first to take the steps to safely reopening – get vaccinated. The next few weeks are going to be critical to encourage your friends, family and colleagues to get the vaccine.”
The announcement comes as the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI) is now recommending Moderna for people aged 12 years or older.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt says local community pharmacies will begin to receive Moderna doses within the next fortnight.
“These doses are adding additional capacity and will further ramp up the vaccination rate of young Australians,” says Hunt.
“Australia’s vaccine rollout is continuing to hit record levels every day, with 22.4 million doses delivered nationally.
"Some 13.6 million people have had one dose, and over 41 per cent of the eligible population are now fully vaccinated.”
Morrison thanked the European Commission and partnering countries for their cooperation – specifically mentioning Sweden and Norway for their assistance.
The additional one million Moderna doses builds on the four million Pfizer doses sourced from the UK, one million from Poland, and 500,000 from Singapore.
“This agreement further demonstrates the important role our diplomats play and the strength of Australia’s bonds with European nations and the European Union,” said Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Marise Payne.
“Australia is committed to working with all partners across the world because our shared recovery from COVID-19 depends on it.”
National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Trent Twomey said pharmacies across the country were ready to help even more Australians to be vaccinated.
“Community pharmacies are now stepping up to vaccinate Australian families against COVID-19," Twomey said.
“I encourage all Australians to visit their local community pharmacy and roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated."
Updated at 11.46am AEST on 13 September 2021.
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