Victoria to make cutting edge mRNA vax

The Victorian government will spend $50 million to develop and manufacture cutting-edge mRNA vaccines.

The mRNA vaccine technology can be manufactured quickly, cheaply, and safely, and forms the basis of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations.

It is hoped the money will mean mRNA manufacturing capability can be established in Melbourne.


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The funding will be rolled out over two years and spent in partnerships with universities and medical manufacturers.

The federal government has recently identified the onshore production of mRNA vaccines as a national priority.

Also on Wednesday, three Victorian mass vaccination hubs opened to people over 70 as Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton prepared for his vaccination.

The Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and Geelong’s former Ford factory will provide shots for anyone over 70 with or without bookings as part of phase 1a and 1b of the rollout.

They will only be offered the AstraZeneca jab, with Pfizer doses still prioritised for healthcare workers under 50 at hospital vaccination clinics.

Victoria is also resuming its rollout of the AstraZeneca shot to eligible people under 50 after it was paused on April 9, as Australian health officials confirmed a link between the vaccine and rare but potentially deadly blood clots.

Those under 50 will be required to sign a consent form, which outlines the risks of taking the vaccine.

Professor Sutton will receive his first vaccination on Wednesday at the Royal Exhibition Building, and he praised the hard work of authorities to deliver the AstraZeneca vaccine to the highest safety standards.

“The risk of really serious adverse events is rare, which is why I’m getting my vaccination. The best vaccine to get is the one available right now,” he tweeted.

The state is receiving about 14,000 Pfizer doses per week. It is hoped a further 10,000 doses will soon be made available by the federal government each week.

Victoria had administered 168,250 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to Monday, including 4205 in the past 24 hours.

© AAP 2021