Scott Morrison Says Coronavirus Vaccine Will Be Mandatory When It Comes To Australia
Australia's Prime Minister says the coronavirus vaccine will be mandatory if and when it comes to our shores.
Scott Morrison has struck a deal with UK pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca to ensure our country gets 25 million doses of the vaccine being brewed by Oxford University.
If human trials are successful, we will be able to manufacture the vaccine here and ship it to every person immediately.
However, Mr Morrison has also revealed that when that eventuates, he will ensure nearly every person will get the jab so that the coronavirus can be eliminated from the country.
Speaking to 3AW Radio, the Prime Minister said: "I would expect it to be as mandatory as you can possibly make it. There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds but that should be the only basis."
When host Neil Mitchell warned that Mr Morrison would face a very lengthy battle with anti-vaxxers, he replied: "I'm used to that, I was the minister that established 'No Jab, No Play'. My view on this is pretty clear and not for turning."
The 'No Jab, No Play' policy has been introduced in several states in Australia and requires children to be vaccinated if they want to attend school.
While there are plenty of people who hold concerns about the potential vaccine, experts have warned we could be living in a world of continual outbreaks, lockdowns and restrictions if a cure isn't found and adopted by the masses.
Mr Morrison hopes the vaccine could be ready as early as next year, but if it doesn't work then Australia will work around that.
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"If it can be done sooner than that, then even better. But this is the most promising I'm advised. And in my discussions with other leaders around the world, particularly in Europe, they're forming a similar view.
"[We will] continue to live positively with the virus, to ensure that we can establish our economy and society as much as is normally possible.
"And that's why having a Covid-safe economy and Covid-safe community is important. That's why having testing, tracing and outbreak capacity capabilities are so critical to enable Australians to get on with their lives."
Oxford University's vaccine has entered the third phase of testing, where it's now being trialled on thousands of willing participants.
So far, the previous tests have been promising.
The results of research published in medical journal The Lancet back in June concluded: "ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 was safe, tolerated, and immunogenic, while reactogenicity was reduced with paracetamol."
The study, which included 1,077 participants, warned that there is still much distance to be crossed, adding: "Current results focus on immune response measured in the laboratory. Further testing is needed to confirm if vaccine effectively protects against infection."
It's hoped this third phase will shed light on whether we can start mass producing the vaccine for everyone. The UK has already secured 100 million doses of the vaccine in the hopes it will be successful and Australia is ensuring it has a piece of the pie.
Featured Image Credit: PA