Australia set for Moderna rollout next month: Here’s what you should know

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The Scott Morrison-led federal government has informed that the Moderna vaccine will be available in Australia by mid-September. This is the third vaccine set to be rolled out in the country after AstraZeneca and Pfizer.

The Morrison government would also be allocating an additional AU$17.7 million in mental health support for people battling protracted lockdowns.

The announcement comes at a time when both provincial as well as federal governments in the country are battling winter Delta outbreaks. New South Wales premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has also confirmed 262 new COVID-19 cases in the state — which has been worst hit by the virus – and the death of an elderly woman. The latest death has taken the cluster’s death toll to at least 28.

As the government is hopeful of the Moderna vaccine’s rollout by mid-September, it expects the vaccination to peak by November. During the month, the government expects to inject a total of 19 million doses of the vaccine – 10 million of Pfizer, 5 million of AstraZeneca and 4 million Moderna.

Earlier in May, the Australian Government had reached a deal for securing 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Here is all you need to know about the Moderna Vaccine:

What is vaccine all about?

Moderna is essentially an mRNA vaccine similar to Pfizer. The vaccine is codenamed mRNA-1273 and sold under the brand name Spikevax. Messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) vaccines are a category of vaccines that teach our cells how to make a protein—or just a piece of a protein—which triggers an immune response inside our bodies. The vaccine doesn’t contain eggs, preservatives, latex or metals. The vaccine is meant for people over the age of 18 years and supposed to be given in two doses that would be 28 days apart. The jab is intra-muscle in nature and supposed to be given in the muscle of the upper arm.

If I take it, will it be effective?

Well, pretty much yes – at least that is what data at US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) reveals. Based on evidence from clinical trials, this vaccine was 94.1% effective in preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infections in people who received two doses and had no history of being previously infected. “The vaccine was also highly effective in clinical trials at preventing COVID-19 among people of diverse age, sex, race, and ethnicity categories and among people with underlying medical conditions,” CDC states.

During the clinical trial, three-fourths of those who got vaccinated were people aged between 18 through 64 years, while the rest were aged above 65. Almost 22% of people who participated in clinical trials had at least one underlying condition that put them at the risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

When should people avoid the Moderna vaccine?

There are few generic cases where people should avoid the Moderna vaccine – if they have severe or immediate allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine or if they witness an immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of this vaccine. Despite all its efficacy, the vaccine has some side-effects as well – albeit very temporary. According to the CDC, the vaccine may cause tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea for up to two days. It may also cause temporary swelling, pain and redness at the place of injection.


 


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