Australia became the first country in the Southern Hemisphere to produce the mRNA coronavirus vaccine, and the Victoria State Government has invested $ 50 million in this project.
Deputy Prime Minister James Merlino said the funds would help establish a facility in Melbourne that could produce coronavirus vaccines, such as those produced by Pfizer and Moderna.
He said that mRNA vaccines that contain the genetic code from the virus rather than the virus itself are very effective and can be manufactured quickly, cheaply and safely.
“Twelve months ago would have been the best time to do this, but now is the next best time,” he told reporters Wednesday.
Merlino said the facility will take at least a year to start production and secure vaccine supplies to Australia and neighboring countries.
“We have seen the challenges of global supply. We know the benefits of onshore manufacturing, and we also know the benefits of this technology,” he said.
A $ 50 million will be spent in partnerships with universities and healthcare manufacturers over the next two years.
Merlino acknowledged that the final cost of the project would be “hundreds of millions of dollars” and begged to market it to federal counterparts.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the state government’s announcement, but emphasized that it would not address the country’s current vaccine needs.
“MRNA vaccines will be important for future vaccine elements. Australia will be part of it and my government will be part of it,” he said.
mRNA Vaccines Vaccines are currently manufactured exclusively by Pfizer and Moderna in Europe and the United States.
Australia has relied heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine produced domestically at CSL in Melbourne.
However, the rollout was confused because a very rare blood coagulation disorder was associated with the AstraZeneca jab. The country’s Vaccine Advisory Group has begun recommending that people under the age of 50 get Pfizer on their behalf.
A 40-year-old Brisbane police officer was reported Wednesday when he was hospitalized when he suffered a blood clot three days after receiving the Pfizer vaccine. The Therapeutic Goods Department said it was not yet known if men’s health was associated with the Pfizer vaccine.
Professor Peter Doherty said Victoria’s announcement is good news, given the need for regular booster vaccines against COVID-19 in response to changes in the virus.
“If we could make those vaccines, that would be a big advantage,” he said.
The state has specialists to do the job, but he said it would take time to set up the facility and get government approval, saying the government’s one-year period was “ambitious but realistic.” It was.
Health Minister Martin Foley said mRNA technology can also be used to treat cancer and other rare diseases.
Brett Sutton, Chief Health Officer of Victoria, reiterates that the risk of blood clots is very low, and will “step up” anyone who qualifies for a jab at the state’s mass vaccination center opened Wednesday. I urged you.
“It’s more likely that you’ll get a blood clot than you get this jab, regardless of age when you’re flying long distances to Europe or North America,” he said. “It’s really small, so it’s a risk we accept.”
The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center, and Geelong’s Former Ford Factory will provide AstraZeneca shots to everyone over the age of 70, with or without reservations, as part of Phases 1a and 1b of the nationwide expansion. I will.
Victoria also resumed deploying AstraZeneca shots to people under the age of 50 after a pause on April 9.
By Benny Octopus Boss and Liz Hobday. The Epoch Times contributed to this article.