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$1 billon vaccine production program
Here is everything you need to know about the government’s new vaccine production program:
Melbourne will host the southern hemisphere’s largest influenza vaccine manufacturing centre, after a $800m investment from CSL subsidiary Seqirus.
The facility will be supported by a $1bn 12-year supply agreement with the federal government, to be announced on Monday, and help procuring land near Tullamarine airport from the Victorian government.
The centre is expected to be operational by mid-2026, and will produce influenza pandemic vaccines, Q-Fever vaccine and anti-venoms for Australian snakes, spiders and marine creatures.
The new supply deal replaces an agreement set to expire in 2024-25, at which time Seqirus’ Parkville facility will be retired.
The facility will be the only cell-based influenza vaccine manufacturing facility in the southern hemisphere, supporting a shift away from egg-based vaccines.
Seqirus claims the facility will support more than 1,000 Stem jobs in Victoria, with a supply chain worth more than $300m annually.
CSL chief executive officer, Paul Perreault said:
Providing safe and effective influenza vaccines is essential in securing our defences against serious public health threats.
Cell-based influenza vaccine technology offers many advantages over the existing process including being more scalable and offering faster production – particularly important in the case of influenza pandemics.
Scott Morrison said:
Keeping Australians safe is my number one priority and while we are rightly focused on both the health and economic challenges of Covid-19, we must also guard against future threats.
This agreement cements Australia’s long-term sovereign medical capabilities, giving us the ability to develop vaccines when we need them.
In October the federal government announced it would invest $1.3bn in local manufacturing, with medical products one of the priority areas.
The federal government has also committed $3.2bn to secure access to over 134.8m doses of potential Covid-19 vaccine candidates developed by the University of Oxford-Astra Zeneca and the University of Queensland, Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax.
An expert whose work helped trigger the explosive war crimes inquiry says the details in its imminent report will leave the Australian Defence Force with “no choice” other than to fundamentally change special forces’ culture.
The chief of the defence force Angus Campbell is expected to this week release a redacted version of findings by the inspector general of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) Paul Brereton, detailing alleged war crimes committed by elements of the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan between 2005 and 2016.
Brereton is widely expected to find that a small group of special forces troops committed shocking acts, including killing and brutalising unarmed Afghan civilians.
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