Pharmacy Guild outlines tranches for Moderna vaccines starting this week and reveals the age groups that will be targeted
With millions of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines set to arrive over the next few months, Pharmacy Guild national president Trent Twomey has outlined how community pharmacies will be receiving the doses.
“Two million Moderna vaccines will be arriving in Australia this month,” Mr Twomey confirmed on Monday.
The updated number came after the news that Australia had purchased an additional one million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine from the European Union.
“The extra doses, along with the first shipment of the already contracted doses, will arrive within the next week and go directly to local community pharmacies across the country and into the arms of Australians,” said the Prime Minister’s office on Sunday.
This will be followed by three million arriving each month in October, November and December.
Among the 3,600 community pharmacies that have completed the simplified and accelerated EOI process, 1,800 pharmacies selected as part of Tranche 1 will receive their Moderna stock in the week commencing on 20 September.
A further 1,800 pharmacies that are part of Tranche 2 will receive stock the following week commencing 27 September.
Mr Twomey reassured pharmacies who are not part of the first tranche that all states and territories are represented in both tranches.
“The way the government selected which pharmacies are in which tranche is simply based on your data of throughput you have already put through with the AstraZeneca program,” he explained.
“So those pharmacies that have already had a high level of demand will be prioritised first.”
Pharmacies that have not yet joined the rollout, or have not responded to the simplified and accelerated EOI process, have been encouraged to sign up.
“Do the simplified and accelerated EOI process and we’ll pop you in the queue. We would love as many of you as possible to participate,” he said.
Mr Twomey also outlined the age groups that pharmacies will be instructed to vaccinate.
“We are going to be preferencing 12-59 year olds in the first instance, until those supplies really ramp up. If you’re over 60 you can still receive the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
He added that as the ATAGI changes its advice for eligibility criteria, it will do it for all mRNA vaccines in the same way.
“ATAGI will issue some advice in the coming days on phasing but it will be the same for Pfizer as it is for Moderna, it will be a simple mRNA phasing,” he said.
ATAGI instructed on 9 September that it has reviewed the evidence and now supports COVID-19 vaccination in all adolescents from 12 years of age.
Meanwhile community pharmacies are set to reach the half a million milestone for administration of AstraZeneca vaccines.
Nearly 430,000 administered doses have been reported in AIR as of 7 September, among the 3,100 community pharmacies actively vaccinating with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However there are still one million doses waiting to be delivered that are sitting in pharmacy fridges.
Mr Twomey encouraged community pharmacists to “please keep going hard” with AstraZeneca, and also to share stock with fellow pharmacies that may have run out.
This article was updated at 10.10am on Monday 13/9/21 with new information from the Pharmacy Guild on the tranches, following news of the additional doses secured by the Commonwealth. There are now two tranches instead of three, and the dates have been updated.