News Coronavirus Victoria inks pact to develop COVID-style vaccines with South Korea
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Victoria inks pact to develop COVID-style vaccines with South Korea

South Korean, where troops in full protective gear disinfect public spaces, understands the importance of vaccine research.Photo: AAP
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The Victorian government has joined with a leading Korean medical institute to jointly research mRNA genetic therapy vaccines.

Some of the earliest vaccines approved for use against COVID-19, the Pfizer and Moderna shots, are based on mRNA technology which teaches the body’s cells to make a protein that will trigger an immune response, preparing the immune system for any exposure to the virus.

The memorandum of understanding between mRNA Victoria and the Korean Health and Industry Development Institute, overseen by the country’s health department, will see both parties work together on joint early-stage RNA research, clinical trials, and manufacturing investment.

The pact is prompted by mutual benefit. While South Korea boasts specialised bio-manufacturing facilities, Victoria has an edge in vaccine research and development.

The South Korean government has pledged $2.4 billion to become a major global COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing centre by 2025, while the Victorian government is aiming to make the state a hub for developing mRNA and RNA technology.

Clinical trials are already being funded by mRNA Victoria for a locally developed and manufactured COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be available in the first half of 2022.

It comes as another 11 COVID-19 deaths and 6075 new cases were reported in Victoria on Saturday.

There are 40,530 active cases in the state, with 175 hospitalised, 22 in intensive care, and four on ventilation.

Victoria has 62.2 per cent of adults vaccinated with three doses, ahead of mandatory vaccination rules kicking in for key workers.

-with AAP