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Moderna’s vaccine gets provisional OK in Australia

The Cambridge company says the first 10 million doses will start shipping next month.

In all, Moderna expects to send 25 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Australia.
In all, Moderna expects to send 25 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Australia.CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP via Getty Images

Australia has secured 25 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine and is expected to begin receiving them in the second half of September, the Cambridge biotechnology company said Monday.

Moderna will first send 10 million doses of the vaccine this year, then 15 million doses of its updated variant booster vaccine in 2022. It’s thus far approved for use in people 18 or older.

“As we seek to protect people around the world with our COVID-19 vaccine, we look forward to continuing discussions with the Australian Government about potentially establishing local mRNA manufacturing capabilities,” Moderna chief executive Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

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It is the fourth vaccine to be granted regulatory approval from the country’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, part of its Department of Health. Moderna will have to keep providing information to the administration about its vaccine’s long-term efficacy and safety, based on data from continued clinical trials and postmarket assessment.

Moderna’s stock price rose by more than 17 percent Monday to close at $484.47, a 52-week high.

The agency will announce separately its decision on whether to authorize the vaccine for people age 12 to 17. Data on the use of Moderna’s vaccine for this age group are still undergoing evaluation, but the agency has not identified any concerns.

Outside of Australia, the Moderna vaccine has received conditional authorization in more than 50 countries, as well as an Emergency Use Listing from the World Health Organization.


Angela Yang can be reached at angela.yang@globe.com.