The Chronicle

Kids ready for vaccine

Moderna available at chemists


CHILDREN as young as 12 will get access to Moderna’s coronaviru­s vaccine from Monday and the supply will soon be boosted by a million new doses from Europe.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisati­on has recommende­d the Moderna jab for people aged 12-59 and those people will be able to access the vaccine at pharmacies.

The one million extra doses were sourced from European Union member states, the Prime Minister said. “Families will now be able to go along together to their pharmacy to get their vaccinatio­ns,” Scott Morrison said.

The extra Moderna vials were surplus doses originally destined for use in Spain, the Czech Republic, Portugal and Bulgaria.

They were secured by Australian diplomats working closely with counterpar­ts at the European Commission as well as in Sweden and Norway, the Prime Minister’s office said.

“I want to thank Moderna for their support to these arrangemen­ts, as well as Norway and Sweden who have helped facilitate this deal over the course of these last few weeks,” Mr Morrison said on Sunday.

While the ATAGI advice says children as young as 12 can begin rolling up their sleeves for Moderna jabs as soon as Monday, the European delivery won’t arrive at pharmacies for another few weeks.

More than 3600 pharmacies across the country will share the doses.

About half of that total will receive their supplies through the week beginning September 20. The rest of the pharmacies will receive their doses “shortly after” that period.

Some of the doses will be earmarked for Victoria, Mr Morrison said.

The jabs will have to be cleared by the Therapeuti­c Goods Administra­tion before they can be delivered into arms.

The Moderna jab uses the same modern science as the Pfizer product, mRNA, to prevent serious illness from the coronaviru­s.

The “m” in the acronym stands for messenger and RNA is ribonuclei­c acid, which is present in human cells.

The vaccines use the messenger’s informatio­n to teach cells how to make spike protein, which is then recognised by the body as foreign, prompting it to build an immune response.

That response then comes in handy if the vaccine recipient is infected with Covid because the body already knows how to protect against it.

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Scott Morrison.

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