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Coronavirus Vaccine Will Not Be Mandatory In Australia

Coronavirus Vaccine Will Not Be Mandatory In Australia

Health Minister Greg Hunt says the government won't impose a 'No Jab, No Play' rule in Australia.

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie

The Australian government has confirmed it won't make the coronavirus vaccine mandatory for all its citizens.

There was talk a few months ago that the Morrison administration would encourage people to get the jab when it becomes available and that's when the word 'mandatory' was being thrown around.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has since confirmed there are no plans to introduce a 'No Jab, No Play' rule when the vaccine is approved for Australia.

The only thing that will be mandatory is that providers will have to give details of all vaccinations, including Covid-19, and put them on a national register.

Mr Hunt said Australia's regulatory process will continue at its pace following news the UK had approved the Pfizer vaccine for mass use from next week.

PA

"Frankly the work done in the UK will give Australia and the world very important data, very important lessons, both on the rollout and the efficacy of this particular vaccine but vaccines more generally and symmetrically positive development for the world," he said.

Mr Hunt believes the regulatory process to approve the vaccine in Australia should be completed in January and there are hopes the first rounds of vaccinations could be done in March.

He's revealed the first people in line for the jab will be health workers and aged care residents and the last will likely be children. According to The New Daily, some federal politicians will also be first in line.

They won't be cutting in line, but they want to illustrate that it's safe for people even in high-ranking positions.

"None of us want to be jumping the queue but nor do we want to mean there is any lack of confidence so the honest discussion I've had with Chris Bowen is it may be that there are some from both sides but maybe not as a class," he said.

That sentiment was backed up by the Prime Minister, who believes the vaccine will come to Australia when it's safe and ready.

"Australians know there aren't easy fixes to the challenges we face as a country, and they expect governments to wrestle with the pressures that are facing our country and seek to strike the right balance," Scott Morrison said.

"In Australia, we are in a very strong position and that enables us to get this right, to get the balance right to ensure first and foremost the safety, which enables us then to safely roll out the vaccine successfully around the country."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia