Everything you need to know about the Moderna vaccine

Aug 09, 2021
The Moderna vaccine is expected to be rolled out from mid-September. Source: Getty

By now you’ve probably heard that Australia is set to welcome a third Covid-19 vaccine in a matter of weeks. Australian Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, announced in a press conference on Sunday that he expects the Moderna vaccine to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) within a fortnight, and rolled out from mid-September.

In May, Australia bought 25 million doses of the vaccine, with the plan that 10 million doses will be used as primary vaccinations and 15 million as boosters. Here’s everything you need to know about the new vaccine:

What is the Moderna vaccine?

According to ABC News, the Moderna vaccine (called mRNA-1273) is quite similar to the Pfizer vaccine. “Both vaccines use what’s known as mRNA technology which, before the pandemic, had been trialled in humans but hadn’t yet been approved for widespread use,” the news site wrote.

Just like the Pfizer and the AstraZeneca, Moderna is administered over two doses. It’s not clear what guidelines Australia will follow, but in the United States, people are recommended to have the second jab four weeks after the first jab.

Who is likely to receive it?

Health authorities in the US have recommended the vaccine for people 18 and older. The guidelines for Australia are yet to be decided and made public.

How effective is it?

The vaccine has a 94.1 per cent efficacy against the virus after the second dose, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In comparison, two doses of the Pfizer vaccine reduces your chance of needing to be hospitalised with Covid-19 by 95-96 per cent, while for AstraZeneca it’s 92 per cent.

Does it protect against the Delta strain?

Yes. In a statement from June, Moderna said new data showed that the vaccine was capable of providing protection against the Delta variant.

“As we seek to defeat the pandemic, it is imperative that we are proactive as the virus evolves,” the company said in a statement at the time. “These new data are encouraging and reinforce our belief that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine should remain protective against newly detected variants.”

What side effects have been reported?

According to the CDC, possible side effects may include pain, redness and swelling in the arm where you had the shot. Throughout the rest of your body you may experience tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea.

Have you been vaccinated against Covid-19?

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