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Australia Must Support Equal Access to Covid-19 Vaccines

The Greens have said that Australia must support a World Trade Organization (WTO) proposal that would waive intellectual property provisions to allow Covid-19 vaccine production to be rolled out and made accessible and affordable to everyone in the global community.

The WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Council is meeting this week, with the Covid-19 vaccine on the agenda.

Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for International Aid & Development, said:

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Blocked vaccine shipment makes the case for domestic production

The Greens say that halted shipments of Astra Zeneca vaccines from Europe show the risks of relying on international supply chains to inoculate Australians, extending their call for the government to establish a publicly-owned vaccine production centre.

News of a quarter of a million doses due for Australia being blocked has exposed the risks caused by the privatisation and winding down of Australia’s domestic vaccine production capabilities over decades.

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Greens welcome AstraZeneca approval but say further diversity is needed. 

Rachel Siewert 16 Feb 2021

The Greens welcome the news that AstraZeneca has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia.
 
“However we cannot put all our eggs in one basket. It’s clear with differing rates of efficacy and with new Covid-19 strains developing that we must continue to expand and diversify Australia’s vaccine portfolio”, Australian Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said.
 

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South Africa's AstraZeneca suspension underlines urgency of local vaccine manufacture

The Greens say the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out in South Africa shows the need for the government to establish a publicly-owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer in Australia.

Australia needs to be nimble and able to quickly adapt vaccines to ever-mutating strains of COVID, which would only be possible with a local, publicly owned facility that puts health, not profits, first.

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said:

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Greens call for Government to diversify vaccines contracts and strategise for herd immunity 

Rachel Siewert 4 Feb 2021

The Greens say that the Government must continue to expand and diversify Australia’s vaccine portfolio immediately in light of the varying rates of effectiveness of vaccines against new strains. 
 
“We cannot rely on AstraZeneca as our only contingency plan - we need to have a diverse portfolio to rapidly pivot to deal with new strains, including securing deals with Moderna and more Pfizer doses", Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said. 
 

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Publicly owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer needed

Adam Bandt 4 Feb 2021

The Greens have called for the government to establish a publicly-owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer in Australia, so that Australia can be guaranteed it will receive enough of the mRNA vaccines that are proving to be more effective and more adaptable as the virus mutates. 

Adam Bandt MP has commended scientists and health experts who have joined the Greens call for Australia to build its own domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity.

Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said:

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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.

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Greens welcome Government commitment to COVAX  

Rachel Siewert 24 Sep 2020

The Greens are pleased that the Government has finally announced that Australia has joined the COVAX facility. 

Australia’s participation in COVAX is critical to ensuring developing countries, especially our neighbours in the Pacific, have access to a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

Australia has a responsibility to be part of the solution to vaccine nationalism. 

The Government must continue to commit funding to COVAX to actively support smaller nations to access Covid-19 vaccines. 

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