If you haven’t been vaxxed yet then good news, it’s about to get a whole lot easier. Starting later this month, you’ll be able to receive the third choice of a COVID vaccine with Moderna.
That’s right folks, Miss Moderna is coming Down Under. From September 20, the Moderna vaccine will be available at pharmacies for anyone over the age of 12.
But, what exactly is the Moderna vaccine, can I get it if I’ve already had AstraZeneca or Pfizer, and how effective is it against the Delta strain? Keep reading to find out.
What Is The Moderna Vaccine?
The Moderna vaccine is one of the most-used COVID-19 jabs in the United States, and is an mRNA vaccine similar to the Pfizer jab. It’s administered across two doses, with a recommended 28-day wait between jabs.
It’s different from the existing Pfizer in the amount of vaccine present in each dose, with the ABC reporting that there are 100 micrograms of the vaccine in each Moderna dose, as opposed to Pfizer’s 30 micrograms.
When Will It Be Coming To Australia?
The Moderna vaccine will be available in pharmacies from September 20th.
People looking to get a Moderna vaccine can either book online or walk into their nearest pharmacy from that date. To find out where your closest pharmacy is, click here.
After being approved by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) on August 9th, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that 10 million doses of the vaccine will be in Australia by the end of 2021, and a total of 25 million doses will be brought to Australia for future vaccinations and boosters.
The first million doses will be arriving in the country in September, and will be distributed to pharmacies. From there, we’ll be getting three million doses per month for the rest of the year, followed by 15 million booster shots in 2022.
Who Can Get The Moderna Jab?
The third vaccine available to Australians is currently approved for people aged 12 and over nationwide.
On September 4th, the TGA announced that they had given “provisional approval” for the Moderna vaccine to be used in individuals 12 years old and up. Previously, on the 4th of August, they had approved the vaccine for 18 and over.
In a statement on their website, a spokesperson for the TGA said: “Provisional approval for use in the 12-17 years age group has been made following careful evaluation of the available data supporting safety and efficacy. The vaccine has also received regulatory approval or authorisation in this age group in several jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom, Canada, the European Union, and Switzerland.
“The decision to provisionally approve the vaccine for use in this age group was informed by expert advice from the Advisory Committee on Vaccines (ACV), an independent committee with expertise in scientific, medical and clinical fields including consumer representation.”
When Can I Get The Vax Then?
The Moderna vaccine will begin to be available in pharmacies from September 20th. While one million doses will first be available, the country will be receiving three million doses each month for the rest of the year.
However, if you’re currently living in an outbreak zone and currently eligible for either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer vaccine, don’t wait for the Moderna.
The best vaccine for you is the one available to you right now.
Can I Get It If I Already Got AZ Or Pfizer?
At the moment, it’s recommended that if you got one vaccine for your first shot, you should get the same one for your second dose.
However, it’s expected that a large chunk of the 25 million doses of Moderna arriving in Australia will be used as booster shots in 2022, and anyone who has had an initial vaccine – no matter which one – will be able to have the Moderna.
How Effective Is The Moderna Jab Against Delta?
It’s not yet known how effective the Moderna vaccine is against the Delta strain in particular, but Professor Skerritt said it’s 93% effective “against any infection”.
“The other really encouraging thing about Moderna is, even after 6 months, it is proving to be 93% efficacious against any infection, 98% against severe disease and 100% against death,” he said.
“That’s really exciting.”
Clinical trials in the US have shown that two doses of the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective in people aged 18 years and over, especially in those who have had no evidence of previously contracting COVID-19. It was also highly effective in preventing COVID-19 in people with underlying medical conditions.
What Are The Side Effects Like?
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans who have gotten the Moderna jab have experienced similar side effects to the two vaccines currently being doled out in Australia. Reports of pain, redness, and swelling around the site of the jab in the arm have been documented. Patients have also experienced a general feeling of tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, and fever after getting the jab, which passes in a few days.
It’s reported that the side effects were more common after the second dose of the vaccine, similar to many peoples’ experience of the Pfizer jab.
All adult Aussies (yep, even those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess