Moderna is to be the vaccine supplied by community pharmacies in Stage 3 of the COVID vax program, the Health Minister reveals
Speaking in Canberra on Monday, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the additional 800 GP clinics and the pharmacy locations due to join Stage Three of the COVID-19 vaccination program would “have access to Moderna on initial plans”.
“It’s most likely that the pharmacies will do Moderna…. Simply- that’s the initial planning at this stage, but it has exactly the same impact,” he said, responding to media questions.
“The difference in the second dose period is three weeks for Pfizer and four weeks for Moderna.
And so, to think it through, in terms of, we’re now completing the second phase and moving into the third phase of the national rollout, which aligns with the quarters, and that will see GPs, initially 300 plus and then 600 plus, come on board for Pfizer and then that will expand out.
So, by the time we get to the full Pfizer rollout, every general practice that is qualified will have access to it”.
Minister Hunt said the third stage will see an expansion of Pfizer supplies, increasing to approximately 600,000 a week from mid-July on the latest advice.
“That will mean that we’ll have 300 plus, initially, general practices begin with Pfizer….then, that will grow in the latter part of the month to 600 plus”.
In September, if supply continued at predicted levels, “we’ll start to expand the number of GPs, potentially bring on pharmacies outside of rural and regional areas,” Mr Hunt said.
“And then as we go into the last quarter, we’ll have over 27 million Pfizer doses. And that will be all hands on deck…. using all of our 4400 GPs, potentially another 700 to 800 plus that may come on board, plus a significant number of pharmacies, as well as all of the state systems.
If we do get Pfizer earlier, over and above what we’ve already got planned, we’ll be able to bring that commencement in to September,” he said.
Meanwhile Moderna have announced that Adjutor Healthcare will be managing the regulatory submission and approval process of their vaccine by the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA), as well as providing post-approval regulatory maintenance and other commercialisation services.
Moderna has also announced that it plans to open a commercial subsidiary in Australia in 2021.