Moderna’s COVID-19 booster gets TGA’s provisional approval

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Highlights

  • Moderna's COVID-19 jab gets provisional approval from TGA.
  • Provisional approval is for use on Australians aged 18 and above.
  • ATAGI is now considering a final approval for Moderna’s vaccine.

Amidst the worrying Omicron surge, Australia’s TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) has given a provisional approval to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for use as a booster shot in adults.

Which COVID-19 booster is available now?

  • At present, only Pfizer is vaccine stands approved as the booster vaccine for use in Australia. The green signal from TGA is a sign of Moderna’s vaccine soon getting added to the COVID-19 booster vaccine list.
  • According to Health Minister Greg Hunt Australia’s immunisation authority, ATAGI (Australian Technical Advisory Group), is to make a decision on the final clearance for Moderna’s vaccine use in the coming days.
  • The Federal government had purchased 25 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, out of which around 15 million were to be used in H1-2022 as boosters.
  • The provisional approval, however, is only for use on Aussies aged eighteen and above. The Australians will thus soon have a choice between Pfizer and Moderna vaccine as a booster for immunity against the highly transmissible Omicron and previous COVID-19 variants.

How effective are booster shots against Omicron?

  • As of now, COVID-19 booster shots are available only for adults, after six months of second vaccine dose. ATAGI recently reviewed this booster time frame for growing worries from Omicron variant and kept it the same.
  • ATAGI in its review, could not find any proof of vaccine booster being more effective on Omicron with if given early.
  • Health Minister Greg Hunt is also hopeful that ATAGI will within a fortnight make its opinion on Moderna’s vaccine public.

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