Australia’s newest vaccine is almost here: What you need to know

A million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are set to arrive in Australia next month, and an infectious disease expert has called on people to take advantage of it.

Professor Robert Booy of the University of Sydney said Moderna acted like the Pfizer vaccine and had proven to be "highly effective".

He urged people to help their at-risk relatives book a dose.

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"Get your parents and grandparents done," he said.

"Get them vaccinated and protected."

He said people in their 20s and 30s would likely have access from September.

"Once we have done that, we can start working with older teenagers and younger ones, with very high rates by November or December," Professor Booy said.

The Moderna vaccine was developed in January last year and was in trials by April.

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Professor Booy said blood samples taken from the first people who received the vaccine showed that it offered at least a year's protection from COVID-19.

"It is really an important vaccine," he said.

"It adds to our armour and helps us to protect people better because we needed the extra supply and we are getting it soon."

He said booster shots, administered at six to 12 months after the initial vaccination, would also help immunocompromised people, as shown in the US, Israel and parts of Europe.

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"It is not for everybody," he said.

"Boosters may end up like the flu – you get a booster if you are an older person, if you are immunocompromised."

The vaccine has been approved for use in Australia for people aged 18 and over, though in the US children as young as 12 can get it.

Professor Booy also backed the government's vaccine targets, saying they could be reached by the end of the year.

"We can get to over 80 percent of the adult population with two jabs," he said.

"It is just doable. People are realising they are in clear and present and imminent danger, and getting vaccinated is a safe way to protect not only yourself, but your close contacts, your family, and friends."

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