The vaccine plant will be established by American pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Moderna, and is planned to be able to produce up to 100 million vaccine doses a year.
It will be Moderna’s only mRNA manufacturing and finishing center in the Southern Hemisphere and will produce Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine Spikevax, but will give Australia mRNA manufacturing capability in the event of a new pandemic, such as avian influenza.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has said he is thrilled Moderna is building the plant in Melbourne, emphasizing the company had many locations to choose from.
“This is a show of faith in Australia, in our nation, for Moderna to locate themselves here,” he said.
Albanese said having a vaccine plant would give Australia more power, as well as more health supplies.
“This significant deal will protect Australians and Australian sovereignty,” he said.
“This is an issue which isn’t just about health, it’s not just about science, it’s also about national security. It’s about us being able to stand up for ourselves going forward and I think that’s particularly important.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has said he is “absolutely delighted” Melbourne has secured the facility.
“This is such an important day for our state, for our nation, and indeed, for the world,” he said.
The vaccine plant building is set to striking in appearance, with the exterior to be 85 per cent glass.
Moderna will also set up a headquarters and a Regional Research Center in Victoria.