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How Australia's 'secret' plan to make our own Covid vaccines will help rollout

Australia could be able to produce enough jabs on home soil to immunise the entire nation in as little as six months, without waiting for European governments to approve the trade. 

A new partnership between biotech giant BioCina and the University of Adelaide could give Australia the capability to make mRNA vaccines such as the Pfizer and Moderna jabs here. 

The venture would see the acquisition of a purpose-built Pfizer biologics manufacturing plant in Adelaide, according to The Australian. 

From January through to March restrictions on sending the Pfizer jab - which is made in Belgium - abroad were tightened due to a serious shortage in the European Union, making it difficult for Australia to get their ordered dosages at the start of the rollout. 

Bringing manufacturing Down Under will prevent further delays.

BioCina boss Ian Wisenberg said Australia could 'hit the ground running' as the manufacturing plant is ready for use. 

Australia could become completely self-reliant with its Covid vaccination program in six months. Pictured: A nurse receives a Covid jab

'We are supremely confident that given the green light we could begin manufacture within six months to a year,' Mr Wisenberg said.

'In a country like Australia we are talking about 20 million people, or 40 million doses, which is not a lot in terms of production. We see no reason why we could not be producing 100 million doses within that same six to 12-month timeframe, which could also be of benefit to other nations in the Asia-Pacific.

'This is a tremendous opportunity to support the sovereignty of producing vaccines locally and to short-circuit the problems we have encountered with supply chain.' 

BioCina bought the Pfizer plant in Thebarton back in August 2020.  

On Tuesday it was revealed the government's Budget will provide funding to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to work with the Department of Health to develop an onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability.

The funding will be for continuing negotiations with existing manufacturers and approaching the Australian market to establish manufacturing capability.

The technology could also be used for flu jabs and other future vaccines. 

However, the government is refusing to reveal how much funding will be provided.

Staff prepare Covid vaccines in the pharmacy area at the Olympic Park Vaccination Centre on Monday

The Budget says: 'Funding for this measure is not for publication (nfp) due to commercial in confidence sensitivities.'

Meanwhile, the Covid vaccine rollout for all Australians who want their two doses is likely to be completed by the end of the year.

That's the bold prediction of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his department, underpinning much of the government's economic recovery plan.

So far 2.7million doses have gone into the arms of Australians, but the rollout's weekly pace will need to triple if Mr Frydenberg is to be believed.

'The vaccine is likely to be rolled out by the end of this year to all those Australians who want that vaccine,' he said on Tuesday.

'There is the assumption they will get two doses by that time.'

He noted it was based on 'those who seek to have the vaccine' rather than the entire Australian population.

Every Australian will get two doses of a Covid vaccine by the end of the year, the government has predicted

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