Canberra, Aug 10 (IANS) Australia's medical regulator has granted provisional approval for Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provided provisional approval of the Moderna vaccine for use among Australian adults, the Xinhua news agency reported.
One million doses of the vaccine will arrive in Australia in September, which will require two doses to be administered 28 days apart.
Morrison said adding a third vaccine to the rollout on top of doses from Pfizer and AstraZeneca would help the government reach the goal of fully vaccinating 70 per cent of the adult population by the end of 2021.
"Every vaccination saves lives and gets us one step closer to reaching 70 per cent of Australians, aged over 16, vaccinated before the end of the year," he said in a statement on Monday afternoon.
On Tuesday morning, Greg Hunt, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, said the third Covid-19 vaccine added to Australia's rollout boost the vaccine plan during a tough period.
"At the moment, what we are seeing is New South Wales is doing everything it possibly can to contain and then to suppress the virus. At the same time, we're vaccinating on a grand scale," he told The Today Show, an Australian breakfast television program.
"And so Australians are really stepping forward. But please keep doing that. I know it's tough. I know it's challenging. But please keep coming forward to be vaccinated."
The TGA approval comes at a time when about 12 million Australians in New South Wales and Victoria, the country's most and second most populous state respectively, are in lockdown to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.
So far about 22.5 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over had received two coronavirus vaccine doses since the country began its rollout in February.
As of Monday afternoon, there had been 36,630 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Australia, and the number of locally acquired cases in the previous 24 hours was 298, according to the latest figures from the Department of Health.