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EXPLAINED: How mRNA technology will ‘pandemic-proof Australia’

Article image for EXPLAINED: How mRNA technology will ‘pandemic-proof Australia’

There a hopes a brand new vaccine technology, used for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic, will protect Australians against future diseases.

Australia has reached an agreement with American pharmaceutical Moderna to supply 25 million doses of their mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, with regulatory approval from the TGA yet to be established.

While the NSW government has pledged local manufacturing of mRNA, no lab in Australia can currently make it.

Leading mRNA expert Dr Archa Fox led Deborah Knight and her listeners on “a little molecular biology 101”.

She explained how mRNA vaccines contain “instruction[s] to tell our cells to make … proteins that would normally be found on the outside of the SARS-cov-2 virus”.

Essentially, they cut out the DNA middleman used by vaccines like the AstraZeneca jab.

Dr Fox is hopeful Moderna will be able to quickly set up roots here, “pandemic-proofing Australia” for the future.

Press PLAY below to hear the science behind mRNA vaccines

Image: Getty

Deborah Knight
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