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Domestic publicly-owned mRNA production should be on National Cabinet agenda

Media Release
Adam Bandt 19 Apr 2021

The Leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, says the National Cabinet agenda should include the Greens’ call for investment in publicly-owned domestic mRNA vaccine production.

The Greens have been calling for publicly-owned vaccine manufacturing for almost a year, and since February have been explicitly calling for Australia to be able to produce mRNA vaccines here. Top scientists and immunisation experts have also argued that Australia should have domestic mRNA production.

Current expert advice and international experience suggests that it could take 6 months to construct and commence mRNA production domestically in Australia, which is not only competitive with the Government’s best guess timeline around international vaccine imports, but vastly superior, as it would provide a permanent buffer against unexpected events overseas.

Lines from Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP:

“If this arrogant government had listened when the Greens called for publicly-owned vaccine production, we’d be well on our way to making our own mRNA vaccines today.

“Today the Greens are calling on the states to tell Scott Morrison at National Cabinet that Australia needs to make our own mRNA vaccines, and that a production facility should be publicly-owned so that we can put the public and our region first.

“Scott Morrison’s failing strategy is to simply hope big multinational drug corporations give us a good spot in the queue. Instead, the government should be able to make all the kinds of vaccines we need here so that we’re not at the whim of international events and big drug corporations. New mRNA vaccine production should be publicly-owned so the public interest comes first, ensuring we can look after our people and our region.

“While Scott Morrison’s mismanagement has put Australia behind on vaccines, the sad reality is that Covid has a long way to run and it is ‘better late than never’ to start making the vaccines we need here.

Greens Health spokesperson, Senator Rachel Siewert said:

“Developing our own capacity to manufacture mRNA vaccines is the best way to protect the Australian community, ensuring access to vaccines and enabling us to respond quickly to the growing number of variants developing around the world. 

“The Government has admitted they have got vaccine access and rollout wrong. They now need to act with a deep sense of urgency and commit to Australia manufacturing the best options, which are mRNA vaccines.

“It is ridiculous for the Government to be hinting at some international travel when we are so far behind in vaccine rollout and have little to no protection against variants. This is a distraction to try and take attention away from their failure with vaccine access and rollout. 

“National Cabinet needs to discuss local manufacture of mRNA vaccines as a matter of urgency today.”

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