Australia to make Covid-19 vaccine free, compulsory for citizens
London, August 19, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Australians are likely to face mandatory coronavirus vaccinations if Prime Minister Scott Morrison gets his wish.
The nation is a step closer to gaining access to a vaccine, with the Federal Government securing an international deal to produce a vaccine frontrunner locally if trials succeed.
If that happens, Mr Morrison said Australia would have a target of 95 per cent vaccination, which would account for people with health conditions that prevented them being vaccinated.
“I would expect it to be as mandatory as you could possibly make it,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
“There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis.
“We are talking about a pandemic that has destroyed the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands all around the world, and over 430 Australians here.”
The Government has signed an agreement with UK-based drug company AstraZeneca to secure the potential COVID-19 vaccine, being developed by Oxford University.
If the vaccine clears trials, the Federal Government would manufacture it and make it free for all Australians.
But that’s unlikely to be until next year at the earliest, Mr Morrison said.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said he expected strong voluntary take-up of any vaccine that was approved for use.
“Of course, the first will be a voluntary call for people and I’m sure there will be long queues — socially distanced, of course — for this vaccine,” he said.
“There will be very strong campaigns to encourage people and we’ve had experience before of linking vaccination with other programs, and all of those things will be looked at over time.”
Parents who do not immunise their children currently risk reductions in Family Tax Benefit A payments and losing access to the Child Care Subsidy.