How Australia’s toppers are preparing to build a factory to make home-grown Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines
- NSW plans to build the ability to make mRNA vaccines for the future
- Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines use this technology in contrast to maligned AstraZeneca
- The pilot program will run for at least a year and the entire project is estimated at $ 250 million
Top Australian scientists and politicians have teamed up to set up a mRNA vaccine plant such as Pfizer and Moderna.
NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian met with the state’s chief scientist on Monday to discuss plans to build Australia’s first RNA manufacturing facility.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both use mRNA technology, but Australia has no capacity to make the shots itself, making the country dependent on overseas production.
Making mRNA vaccines has become increasingly important since Australia’s plan to immunize the population with locally made AstraZeneca vaccines was sunk by the injection’s link with a deadly blood clot disease.
Messenger mRNA vaccines teach cells how to make proteins that trigger an immune response to a virus, rather than using an inactivated version of the disease.
Top Australian scientists and politicians have teamed up to set up a mRNA vaccine plant such as Pfizer and Moderna. Pictured is a Biontech / Pfizer factory in Germany
Ms. Berejiklian said she was launching a pilot project with the best brains in the state that would last 12 to 24 months.
She said the private sector, universities and the NSW government were collaborating on life-changing research as early as the pandemic.
“NSW is well placed to provide the advanced manufacturing training, scientific expertise and physical location of a future RNA-based manufacturing hub,” she said.
“The state has an established advanced manufacturing capability and is well positioned to be the home of mRNA production in Australia.”
Experts have said creating mRNA production capacity would cost $ 250 million, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant said mRNA vaccines are easier to make than other vaccines.
‘What makes them so exciting is that they are relatively easy to produce, to change [and] modifying at a low cost, which is why people are so interested in this as an emerging vaccine technology in the future, ”she said.