Labor fails promise on 100 million mRNA vaccines by 2024

Liberal Party Victoria

Victorians today learned the Allan Labor Government’s mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility is further delayed and will not be producing 100 million mRNA vaccines this year as promised.

In 2021, Labor promised a new mRNA manufacturing facility would be built, producing vaccines for a range of respiratory diseases including COVID-19 by 2024, along with supporting 500 jobs, by investing in the partnership between Moderna and Monash University in Clayton.

However, in Parliament’s Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) inquiry today it was revealed that this manufacturing facility has been significantly delayed, and would not be producing anything until at least 2025, a year behind schedule.

This is despite the now Deputy Premier, Ben Carroll, confirming in 2023 that construction on the new facility was “ahead of schedule” and that 100 million vaccines would be delivered by 2024.

Today, this claim was contradicted by Minister for Jobs and Industry, Natalie Hutchins, who conceded that on her watch the project has been severely delayed and the government will fail to deliver on its promise.

Also, the government refused to answer how much of Victorian taxpayers’ money has been spent on its deal with Moderna to establish this manufacturing facility in Victoria.

Shadow Minister for Industry and Manufacturing, Bridget Vallence said: “Labor has failed its promise to manufacture 100 million mRNA vaccines for a range of respiratory diseases by 2024, admitting that this project is severely delayed to at least 2025.

“This again shows Labor cannot manage money, cannot manage projects, and Victorians are paying the price.

“The Moderna mRNA manufacturing project is shrouded in secrecy as the Allan Labor Government continues to refuse to answer how much of Victorian taxpayers’ money it is spending on it and on what date it will actually start producing vaccines.

“Whilst pursuing manufacturing sovereignty for lifesaving vaccines is important, the government must be transparent to Victorians about massive project delays and costs.”

/Public Release. View in full here.