This will allow local enterprises to produce up to 100 million doses of the vaccine annually, said the head of the Australian government, Scott Morrison.

The Australian government has signed an agreement with the American pharmaceutical company Moderna, allowing local enterprises to produce up to 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine annually over the next 10 years. This was announced on Thursday by the head of the Australian government, Scott Morrison.

In a Moderna-licensed vaccine manufacturing agreement, the Prime minister said in a statement posted on the government’s website that “is part of a 10-year strategic partnership between the Australian Federal Government, Moderna and the Government of Victoria” concluded in December last year. “This strategic partnership will meet Australia’s current needs for COVID-19 vaccines and <…> make the country an important regional center for the development and production of mRNA drugs,” Morrison said.

The Prime Minister also said that under the agreement, the country will create the first enterprise in the Southern Hemisphere for the production of mRNA vaccines, capable of producing up to 100 million doses of the drug annually. “In addition, the opening of such production will ensure the creation of at least 500 new jobs for Australians during the construction phase and about 200 after commissioning,” he said.

The new plant is expected to be launched in 2024.

Earlier it was reported that the Australian authorities intend to invest more than 2 billion Australian dollars ($ 1.5 billion) in the construction of a pharmaceutical plant in Melbourne (Victoria). It was planned that at the first stage, the capacity of the new plant would be limited to 25 million doses of vaccine per year, but during its design, it was possible to quickly increase them to 100 million doses per year. The government also noted that the plant will produce not only vaccines, but also “mRNA preparations for the treatment of cancer and rare genetic diseases.”

In the spring of 2020, the Australian authorities signed an agreement with the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, which licensed the local production of its coronavirus vaccine at the facilities of the Australian biotechnology company CSL Limited in Melbourne. This agreement expired in January 2022 and the release of Vaxzevria in Australia was discontinued. Most of the AstraZeneca vaccine produced in Melbourne was transferred by the Australian authorities as aid to the countries of the Asia-Pacific region.