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Community pharmacists will be among the first to administer initial doses of the Moderna vaccine from next month, PM confirms

Pharmacy groups have welcomed the TGA’s provisional approval of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax (elasomeran).

The Australian Government has secured 25 million Moderna doses, with the first million expected to arrive in September.

Community pharmacies would be among the first to receive the vaccine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, days after it was announced that all remaining eligible pharmacies across the country are now activated to vaccinate.

“Planning is underway for these vaccines to rollout through approved pharmacies and other providers,” said the Prime Minister’s office on Monday.

“Now we have Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca available as well as more doctors, more nurses and more pharmacists to help get jabs in arms,” said Mr Morrison.

PSA National President Chris Freeman commended the prioritisation of pharmacists in the rollout of Moderna.

“While this is welcomed news for Australians, it is important that governments continue to expand access to vaccines. This includes allowing pharmacists to administer all COVID-19 vaccines where supply is available,” said Associate Professor Freeman.

“In order to ensure we achieve high rates of vaccination and overcome vaccine hesitancy, we must utilise all pharmacists, all TGA-approved vaccines, and all practice settings.

“Pharmacists are one of our most accessible frontline health workforces and community pharmacies are open beyond business hours and on weekends. Pharmacists must play a key role for Australia to complete this vaccine rollout,” he said.

The vaccine is approved for immunisation in people aged 18 years and older, however the Pharmacy Guild of Australia has called for approval to be extended to adolescents.

“We welcome this action by the TGA and look forward to Moderna approval for Australians aged 12 years and over, before it becomes available in pharmacies in about six weeks’ time,” said Pharmacy Guild National President Trent Twomey.

“We need to have it approved for adolescents from the get-go,” said Adjunct Professor Twomey. “There is ample data to answer both safety and efficacy questions.”

Data to support the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in Australians aged 12 to 17 years is being reviewed by the TGA, said the Prime Minister’s office, noting that further decisions may be made in the coming weeks.

Under the TGA approval, the vaccine will require two doses to be administered 28 days apart.

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