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Decades of manufacturing decline limits vaccine options, publicly-owned vaccine manufacturer could save lives

The Greens say that decades of decline in Australian manufacturing puts the nation at risk of having fewer options when it comes to Covid-19 vaccines, and have called for a publicly-owned vaccine manufacturer.

Both Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are based on new technology (mRNA), and while CSL has capacity to manufacture the protein based vaccines it doesn’t at this time have the ability to produce mRNA.

“For a long time it’s been clear that letting manufacturing decline in favour of an economy of under-taxed, under-regulated quarries was pretty risky,” Greens acting Leader, Nick McKim said.

“Thankfully even the hard-right Morrison government had to at least temporarily drop their ideology in the face of the Covid-19 Pandemic on issues like welfare with JobKeeper and JobSeeker. They need to do the same for the vaccine phase.

“The Greens are calling for the government to immediately invest $70 million in expanding the CSIRO’s vaccine manufacturing facilities and to develop a plan to create publicly funded manufacturing capacity by working with the Australian medical industry.

“Unfortunately, this virus is likely to be with us in some form, in some variant for many years, with more likely to be coming at us. What better investment in our future could the government make than building ongoing capacity for Australia to innovate and produce vaccines here?”

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