Moderna has officially started constructing its mRNA vaccine production site in Melbourne.
Moderna emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic as a key player in Australian health and industrial policy.
It has supplied an mRNA vaccine to Australia's national program and entered an agreement with the federal and Victorian governments to construct a manufacturing facility at Monash University’s campus in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.
It will be the first facility constructed by Moderna outside North America.
Health minister Mark Butler was joined by Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas and Moderna managing director Michael Azrak to officially launch construction of the facility which is expected to be completed in 2024. It will be capable of producing 100 million vaccine doses a year.
The Moderna facility aims to provide COVID-19 booster shots as well as mRNA vaccines for other respiratory viruses such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
Construction will support 500 jobs with another 500 medical manufacturing and research roles once operational.
Victoria will also be the home of Moderna's regional headquarters and research centre.
“The start of construction on this landmark facility is another step we take to ensure Australia has an onshore supply of respiratory mRNA vaccines that can be rapidly scaled up to fortify the country against pathogenic threats and future pandemics," said Moderna's Michael Azrak.
“We’ve led on mRNA because we know the advantage it will provide in the event of future pandemics, and as researchers develop brilliant new ways to treat diseases.”
“Victoria will produce mRNA vaccines for Victoria, Australia and the world. This project provides hundreds of construction jobs right now and will support hundreds of medical manufacturing jobs for decades to come," said Victoria's Treasurer Tim Pallas.