Canberra moves to boost local vaccine production

The federal government has put a call out to local manufacturers as part of our preparations to produce a future vaccine and treatments for COVID-19 in Australia.

Submissions received will be used to determine the extent to which the production and distribution can be supported locally once an effective candidate is found.

While CSL is the world’s number two producer of vaccines and has considerable local capacity to make vaccines for diseases such as influenza, making vaccines through traditional techniques such as innoculation of eggs, it also utilises the latest recoimbinant DNA techniques.

However with Covid-19, local needs alone let along export opportunities may strain even the resources of Australia’s largest company by market capitalisation.

The request, with submissions closing 20 August 2020, follows the government’s $333 million investment in vaccine, treatment and therapeutic research and development.

This is made up of $19 million in research funding, $230 million for the establishment of the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) in Geelong, and $7.5 million to support the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

Minister for industry Karen Andrews said she was confident Australian manufacturers would rise to the challenge.

“Australian scientists are at the heart of the global quest for a vaccine and we want to make sure Australian manufacturers can be central to the production once that vaccine is found.

“Australia already has impressive capability when it comes to producing vaccines.

“This request for information is about identifying more niche manufacturers, including those who may be able to pivot or have the capability but would need support to scale up their operations.”

Local manufacturers can find more details and learn how to make a submission here.

Picture: CSL/vaccine manufacture

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