Australians will soon have access to homegrown Covid-19 vaccines following confirmation of a 10-year deal struck with Moderna.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday announced the finalisation of an agreement which will see an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility built at Monash University in Melbourne.
“This significant deal will protect Australians and Australian sovereignty,” Mr Albanese said.
“One of the lessons of the pandemic is that we need to be more resilient, that we need to be more self-reliant and we need to make more things here.”
The federal government expects the vaccine facility at Monash University will be able to produce up to 100 million doses a year.
The deal will see Moderna’s Spikevax vaccine being manufactured domestically, decreasing Australia’s reliance on imported vaccines. Moderna will also help Australia respond to new variants or future pandemics.
Monday’s announcement finalises the partnership the Morrison government entered into with Moderna. At the time, Scott Morrison said the deal would secure Australia’s future pandemic preparedness.
Mr Albanese agreed with his predecessor and said the pandemic provided a “once in a generation opportunity”.
“The pandemic has shown us how important local manufacturing capability is to our security and to our health.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews hailed the “one of a kind” partnership, which would see Melbourne home to Moderna’s only manufacturing facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We have the skills and the equipment needed to deliver this vital onshore capability – it will save lives, create jobs and strengthen Victoria’s position as a national leader in medical manufacturing.”
Moderna will also establish its headquarters and a regional research centre in Victoria.
The company’s Australia and New Zealand general manager, Michael Azrak, welcomed the state and federal government commitment.
“We look forward to being a part of the Monash Clayton precinct and contributing to the R and D ecosystem in Melbourne and across Australia,” he said.