CANBERRA, May 13 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has struck a deal with Moderna for 25 million doses of its mRNA coronavirus vaccine.
Greg Hunt, the Minister for Health, announced the deal on Thursday, saying Australia will receive 10 million doses in 2021 and 15 million doses of Moderna's "updated variant booster vaccine" in 2022.
He said that a complete course of Moderna's vaccination is likely to be two doses given 28 days apart.
"They serve two purposes, firstly, as a reserve supply for this year if other elements of the supply chain were to run into any challenges," Hunt told reporters in Canberra.
"Secondly, they are our foundation of a booster and variant strategy."
The Australian Government has previously entered into the vaccine supply agreements with the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Novavax.
The Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have been approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Hunt also on Thursday confirmed that the government has begun discussions with the private sector to produce mRNA vaccines domestically.
As of Wednesday there had been more than 2.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Australia.
"At our current pace of roughly 351,000 doses a week, we can expect to reach the 40 million doses needed to fully vaccinate Australia's adult population in late May 2023," said the report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Thursday.