The Government of Australia has procured an extra 1 million doses of the Moderna vaccine from the European Union in September. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has allotted an excess of 400,000 Covid vaccines to Covid hotspots in Melbourne this month.
Melbourne’s excess allocation of vaccines will reinforce the three-week vaccine drive which aims to address the increase in the number of Covid cases in the Australian geography. The vaccine drive encompasses a combination of the Moderna (mRNA) and Pfizer vaccines that are in great demand owing to a reduced risk of blood clots, which is associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Prime Minister Morrison explained that the state of Victoria is presently seeing a constant surge in Covid cases just like the pandemic situation which was reported in New South Wales some time ago.
EU supplies Moderna (mRNA) vaccines to Australia
The Moderna (mRNA) vaccines will support the state of Victoria as the excess vaccines will be supplied to populations that inhabit the northern and western regions of Melbourne. These regions mostly comprise young residents who will profit from the three-week vaccination drive, which is an extension of the vaccination sites across the area. The drive will help deal with the increase in the Delta variant outbreak in Melbourne.
This decision falls into place after the federal government directed a fraction of the Pfizer vaccines to New South Wales at the commencement of the greater Sydney outbreak in July. Prime Minister Morrison declared that extra doses will be allocated to Victoria through a novel supply deal made with the European Union. This deal would direct a replacement batch of extra Moderna (mRNA) vaccines to Australia that was supposed to be sent to the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Portugal, and Spain. The additional Moderna doses are to be shared between over 3,600 pharmacies throughout Australia. Around 1,800 pharmacies will receive the doses from next week. The remaining half of these pharmacies will receive doses soon after.
The Moderna (mRNA) vaccines are recommended to be given, by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI), to every individual who is 12 years and older. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) also recommends that the vaccine must be given to individuals between 12 and 59 years.
Prime Minister Morrison stated that the additional supply from the EU would facilitate a ‘family jab’ in September because of the sufficient number of vaccines available for the 12 to 59 age group. Owing to the excess supply, Australia’s vaccine program has caught up with where the nation would have been in its original timeline.
Additionally, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews also stated that the state would put up 100 new vaccination centers to try and combat the latest outbreak in Melbourne.
As of 12th September 2021 (Sunday), the state of Victoria has registered 392 new Covid cases while New South Wales estimated a total of 7 deaths and 1,262 cases.
The federal government also launched a new advertising campaign – ‘First Things First’, targeted at the population’s vaccine uncertainty. The campaign was a USD 50 million investment, in advertising, that targeted the people who were ‘unsure’ about getting themselves vaccinated.
Health Minister Greg Hunt stated that the campaign will empower hesitant citizens to get vaccinated.
The USD 50 million investment will also sustain ‘on-the-ground engagement’ with the citizens through community activities (between the diverse Australian communities and groups) and information kiosks set up at shopping centers.
Currently, 22.4 million vaccine doses have been distributed across the country.
The first dose of vaccination has been administered to 13.6 million people of the entire population and over 41% of the population have been completely vaccinated.