Australia authorizes use of Moderna vaccine
Sydney, Australia, Aug 9 (EFE).- Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine has become the fourth to be given provisional approval for use in Australia, the government announced on Monday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Canberra that approval for administration of the vaccine to those aged over 18 was given by the Therapeutic Goods Administration medical regulator, with 25 million doses ordered – 1 million of which will arrive next month.
“We will have 10 million of the Moderna doses arriving before the end of this year,” Morrison added.
The vaccine joins 125 million doses from Pfizer and 53 million from AstraZeneca, the latter produced in the country, according to official data.
The third given provisional approval, the single-dose vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, has not yet been purchased.
The announcement comes as the government tries to accelerate its vaccination plan, with which it has inoculated 20 percent of its population aged 16 and over in the midst of a Covid-19 outbreak linked to the Delta variant that began in Sydney in mid-June.
Canberra has proposed vaccinating 80 percent of the population in order to reopen its borders and avoid health crises such as the one facing Greater Sydney, where some 6 million residents are in lockdown until at least Aug. 27.
Morrison’s government was praised for its economic and health management of the pandemic last year, but this year’s lockdowns across the country and the slow pace of the immunization program have dented its popularity.
According to a Newspoll poll published Monday by The Australian newspaper, support for Morrison’s handling of the pandemic has plunged to 48 percent, while 59 percent said they were unhappy with the way he has handled the vaccine rollout. EFE