Global vaccine roll-out relies on Knox local business

Message from Alan Tudge MP

Alan Tudge MP speaking with staff at Biosafety

Originally published in March 2021

Did you know that an important key to the global rollout of the COVID vaccine lies in Ferntree Gully? That’s right! Not in London, not in New York, but in our very own Ferntree Gully. 

Biosafety is a small local business that is playing a massive role in the global roll-out.  They have recently travelled to the UK, to lead the decontamination of an old penicillin facility to enable it to become a global production, storage and distribution facility for the Pfizer vaccine.

Biosafety decontaminated the facility with a gas called chlorine dioxide that is non-carcinogenic, residue-free, and safer than many other chemicals. It is the the largest project of its kind to date. This kind of decontamination is the business’s specialty and managing director Brett Cole is one of the only global experts in this field. Without him this job would not have been able to happen. Brett was onsite in the UK to ensure the process was carried out meticulously, methodically and with expert skill.

It’s always fantastic to see the number of innovative businesses that we have right here in Knox.

Here at home you would be aware that our own vaccine roll-out has now commenced. 

The Prime Minister, along with 84-year-old Jane a WWII survivor, were among the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine in mid-February. Since then, Phase 1A of the roll out has seen frontline health, quarantine and border force workers and aged care and disability residents receive the Pfizer vaccine. Vaccination hubs have been established across Australia to administer the vaccine, with major hospitals including Monash Health taking part. In addition, thousands of aged care residents have also been vaccinated at their facilities.

This month, the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has now been approved by the TGA, has begun rolling out. The initial supply of this vaccine will be imported from overseas, but we will soon be manufacturing our own doses right here in Melbourne – we are one of the few countries to have the ability to do so.

Beginning with Phase 1B, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available at many more locations including GP Clinics, respiratory clinics, vaccination clinics and pharmacies. 

I will be sure to keep you updated on those in Knox once they are announced.

When your time comes around, I would encourage you to take the opportunity of getting vaccinated. We may not all be experts in penicillin decontamination, but we do all have a part to play in ending this pandemic. 

The vaccines are safe and effective, will help save lives and livelihoods and provide us with our best chance of getting back to a normal way of life. I will certainly be taking it at the first opportunity I receive. 

If you do have any questions about the vaccines, it’s important that you seek reliable information. The Government Health website has several resources that can help answer your questions.

Alan Tudge MP

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