SHANGHAI, Nov 28 (Reuters) - U.S. vaccine maker Moderna began construction of its first facility in China this month to manufacture mRNA medicines, the company said on Tuesday.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine has yet to be approved in China, but the company said in July it had signed a deal with the city government of China's financial hub Shanghai to work towards opportunities for it to research, develop and manufacture mRNA medicines in the country.

The facility in Shanghai would manufacture medicines for the domestic population, the world's second largest after India, a spokesperson for Moderna told Reuters.

"Our focus in China is on strengthening health security by targeting unmet needs and contributing to the ecosystem of medical solutions available to patients in China," it said in an emailed statement.

It did not say what it planned to make at the facility and when production might start. (Reporting by Andrew Silver; Editing by Christopher Cushing)