The Albanese Government has secured an additional 3 million doses of the latest Moderna Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine to ensure an adequate portfolio of vaccines.
This latest Moderna vaccine, the Spikevax Bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4-5 formulation has been granted provisional approval from the TGA and is expected to be available in Australia from April.
The Government has accepted advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (Spikevax Bivalent BA.4/5) to be made available for eligible people aged 12 years and older as a COVID-19 booster dose according to the ATAGI 2023 booster advice.
These doses will continue to ensure a portfolio of vaccines is available for people in Australia, consistent with recommendations made by Professor Jane Halton AO in her review of Australia’s procurement arrangements for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
The Government has carefully considered Professor Halton’s independent review and has accepted seven recommendations in full, while the remaining recommendation relating to the National Medical Stockpile has been partially accepted.
Professor Halton’s recommendations included the need for public health campaigns around vaccine uptake, an updated COVID-19 policy framework, the streamlining of advisory structures, a review of vaccine distribution arrangements, and the need to ensure adequate supplies of therapeutics and vaccines across 2023 and 2024.
Professor Halton’s report and the Government’s response is available here.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Australia has secured 3 million doses of the latest Omicron-specific COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna, ensuring we have a portfolio of vaccines, as recommended by Professor Jane Halton.
“All adults can now get a booster if it’s been 6 months or longer since their last COVID-19 booster or confirmed infection, whichever is most recent.
“The Australian Government has accepted all of the recommendations, either in full or in part, in Professor Halton’s independent review of Australia’s procurement arrangements for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
“Work has already commenced on implementing Halton’s recommendations, including releasing the COVID-19 Management Plan for 2023 and preparing a new advertising campaign to ensure everyone in Australia, especially populations in vulnerable situations, continue to have the information and awareness to make decisions that help protect themselves and others from COVID.