The Australian Greens have lashed the Morrison Government’s vaccine rollout, saying that tonight’s announcement of a health advisory to no longer vaccinate many people under 50 would have been avoidable if Australia had a domestic mRNA manufacturing capacity.
“The government’s rollout is in shambles. This is precisely why Australia should have built domestic mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity at the start of the pandemic,” Senator Siewert said.
“We shouldn’t be playing catch-up - completely rewriting our vaccine strategy weeks into the rollout, with vaccine choice determined by availability, not evidence based health policy.
“If we had domestic mRNA manufacturing capacity established in Australia, we wouldn’t be telling under 50’s that they should only be vaccinated where ‘the benefits outweigh the risk’. We would be vaccinating them with the best, safest vaccine.
“If we had domestic mRNA vaccine production ability, we could be shifting our rollout to other vaccines, like Novovax or Pfizer.
“Instead, Scott Morrison is seemingly just making it up as we go along.
“We need to make sure that people here are rapidly vaccinated with the best available vaccine, and that we’re able to play our role in supplying vaccines to the Pacific.
“To do that, we need a publicly-owned mRNA vaccine manufacturer in Australia.
“Scientists and health experts have backed the Greens’ call for Australia to build mRNA vaccine manufacturing capacity on our shores.
“With publicly-owned domestic manufacturing capacity, we won’t just be able to make sure that everyone here is inoculated against new pandemics as they come, but we’ll be a vaccine production hub for the region.”