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How an epidemiologist thinks the Moderna deal will change Australia’s vaccine rollout

Neil Mitchell
Article image for How an epidemiologist thinks the Moderna deal will change Australia’s vaccine rollout

A leading epidemiologist says the federal government’s Moderna vaccine deal signals a “pivot” in Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

Australia has just signed a deal for the Moderna vaccine, and international evidence suggests the risk of blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca jab, while still rare, may be more common than initially thought.

Professorial Fellow in Epidemiology at Melbourne University, Tony Blakely, says an “evolution” in Australia’s vaccine plan is coming.

“There are strong hints that production capacity will be onshore, which, I think, is part of the pivot away from AstraZeneca slowly this year,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“By this time next year I don’t think we’ll be seeing AstraZeneca being produced in Australia, and we’ll be seeing mRNA production.”

But Mr Blakely says the announcement about Australia’s deal for 25 million doses of Moderna may slow the vaccine rollout in the short-term.

“I suspect we’ll hear messaging soon that runs something like ‘Please get AstraZeneca now, however if you want to wait for an mRNA vaccine, Moderna or Pfizer, we will accommodate that’,” he said.

“What that means is our sprint from October to Christmas is going to be a mad sprint if we have more and more 50+ adults waiting to get vaccinated … and we’re still going to go for getting 75 or 80 per cent of adults vaccinated by Christmas.”

Press PLAY below for Professor Blakely’s view on AstraZeneca and Moderna

Another 25 million doses: Australia’s new COVID-19 vaccine deal ‘just makes sense’

Neil Mitchell
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