A new Moderna vaccine manufacturing facility in Victoria is set to create up to 500 jobs during construction, in addition to 500 ongoing roles. Following a deal between the Victorian Government, Federal Government and Moderna, Victoria will become the first southern hemisphere manufacturer of mRNA vaccines. According to an announcement made by Victorian Acting Premier, James Merlino, and Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, Moderna’s new manufacturing and finishing facilities, and Australian research centre will all be based in Victoria. James Merlino in the announcement declared,“This is a huge announcement not just for Victoria, but the whole country – being able to manufacture mRNA vaccines and treatments locally will lock in vaccine security both on our shores and across our region,”
The development of an mRNA manufacturing capability in Victoria will translate as vaccine security and a means to avoid global supply chain issues, creating a more robust defence against future pandemics. The facility will be capable of producing up to 25 million vaccine doses per year from 2024, with the capacity to scale up to 100 million doses per year to combat future pandemics. Apart from mRNA COVID vaccines, the new facility will also be able to produce other therapeutics which can be used in the treatment of cancer, rare diseases, cellular engineering and protein-replacement therapy.
Victoria can be described as Australia’s leader in pharmaceutical and biological manufacturing, responsible for nearly 60 per cent of Australia’s pharmaceutical exports – making it the state’s highest value advanced manufactured export. Earlier this year, the Victorian Government announced up to $400 million in funding for a new Australian Institute of Infectious Disease in Victoria to lead the fight against future pandemics. Victorian scientists and manufacturers also recently created Australia’s first mRNA COVID-19 vaccine candidate – its first ever mRNA drug product – in just five months, enabling clinical trials to begin in the new year.