Moderna Vaccine

What you need to know about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Over 1 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine have arrived Australian shores, with 10 million more on their way, and as a new vaccine on the market, we’re sure you have a few questions, and it’s great to be informed. We’ve put together some helpful FAQs to help, but in short, the Moderna vaccine is very similar to the Pfizer vaccine, in that both are mRNA vaccines that work by helping your immune system create new antibodies that help fight off the COVID-19 virus.

The Moderna vaccine has gone through the same evaluation and approval processes that both AstraZeneca and Pfizer have been through, and both the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisation (ATAGI) have approved its use for all those aged between 12 and 59 years of age, as well as those who are pregnant.

Read on to learn more about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination, and if you still have questions you can visit the Department of Health website at or consult your local community pharmacist or other trusted healthcare provider.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now on Australian shores and is available at local community pharmacies. Two dosages are required for the Moderna vaccine, administered 28 days apart.

Being an mRNA vaccine, Moderna creates a temporary genetic instruction that tells our cells to make a particular protein. Similarly in the case of Pfizer, Moderna instructs the body to make an mRNA (genetic instruction) for the spike protein found on the surface of the SARS-CoV0 2 virus (which causes COVID-19). Once injected in the body, the cells near the vaccine site will make the spike protein, display it on their surface and trigger the immune system to learn how to fight the actual virus, if encountered.

The Moderna vaccine shares many characteristics with the Pfizer vaccine with only a few technical differences. As mentioned above, both are mRNAs based on the same chemistry and produce the same spike protein variant.

There are slight differences in the mRNA sequence, both in the spike protein’s genetic code and outside the actual genetic code.

The Moderna vaccine is recommended for all people aged 12 years of age and above.

In saying that, you should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine if:

  • If you have had a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or an immediate allergic reaction, even if it was not severe, to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol)
  • If you had a severe or immediate allergic reaction after getting the first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get a second dose of either of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech)

The Moderna vaccine has undergone and registered evidence from clinical trials which illustrate its successful results. Based on these trials, in people aged 18 years and older, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1% effective at preventing the laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 infection in people who received two doses and had no evidence of being previously infected.

This means that in the 30,000-person efficacy trial, only 11 people (who received two doses of the Moderna vaccine) developed COVID-19 symptoms after being infected with the pandemic coronavirus.

It is also important to note that the vaccine was also highly effective in clinical trials at preventing COVID-19 among people of diverse age, sex, race, and ethnicity categories. On top of this, it also proved to be highly effective in clinical trials for those with underlying medical conditions.

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine contains the following ingredients: messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), lipids (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]), tromethamine, tromethamine hydrochloride, acetic acid, sodium acetate trihydrate, and sucrose.

Similarly, to Pfizer and the other approved COVID-19 vaccines, the most commonly reported side effects, which typically lasted several days, included pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, nausea and vomiting, and fever. It is to note that more people experienced these side effects after the second dose compared to that of the first dose.

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