By Latika Bourke
June 24, 2021 — 10.39pm
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on the leaders of Australia’s states and territories to reconsider travel exemptions for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, saying the measure would boost the number of people willing to get their jabs.
His previous call for vaccinated Australians to be exempted from interstate border bans was rejected amid criticisms they would lead to a vaccine
Four Bankstown Hospital workers who were among 30 guests at a West Hoxton birthday party likely dodged getting infected with COVID because they were fully vaccinated.
However, Mr Morrison told Sky News on Thursday evening that was not the plan.
“It’s not what it is, it was just simply saying that if you’ve been vaccinated, that the state governments would recognise that and you’d be able to move around in times like this,” Mr Morrison told host Paul Murray.
“I’ve put it to them, they’re not ready to accept that as something you can do.”
Queensland’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has previously cast doubt on the idea, describing it as a “passport”, but called for further discussion.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejkilian, who has kept her state’s borders largely open during the pandemic and is resisting calls for lengthy Victorian-style lockdowns to combat outbreaks, is also against the measure.
She said all citizens should be free to move across the country regardless of their vaccination status.
Late on Thursday, Victoria said it was shutting its borders to residents of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Shellharbour, Blue Mountains and Wollongong after the state recorded a positive infection linked to the NSW cluster.
New Zealand has already paused its travel bubble with NSW, and South Australia, Western Australia have both closed to NSW.
There are just shy of 720,000 Australians currently fully vaccinated but, with more than 6 million first doses administered, that figure is set to significantly rise.
The Prime Minister said rewarding those who had been jabbed by giving them greater freedom during snap restrictions and sudden border closures would encourage more people to get vaccinated.
“I know there are real reservations in Australia, that the idea entitles you to do something and doesn’t allow others to it, there is a concern about that in the community and I acknowledge that and I understand that,” he said.
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“The vaccine is not compulsory and we would not make it compulsory but at the same time, if the health risk is lower for someone who has been vaccinated, and that has to be established, then that does provide those things [for] the states to consider,” he said.
A study on the effects of the vaccines on household transmission published in The New England Journal of Medicine found transmission of COVID-19 was approximately 40 to 50 per cent lower in vaccinated households compared to unvaccinated households, based on a study of infections in Britain earlier this year.
Separately, research published by Public Health England shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 96 per cent effective against the Delta variant against hospitalisation after both doses and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 per cent effective.
The Prime Minister said other countries such as South, Korea, the United States and United Kingdom were rewarding the fully vaccinated with fewer restrictions.
Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday that Europe and Britain had a “real opportunity” to open up international travel “through the double jab”.
The CDC in the US has said those who are fully vaccinated do not have to wear masks, socially distance or quarantine upon returning home from international travel, or if they come into contact with a positive case, unless required to by their local or state authority.
PM continues to back ‘practical’ vaccine passport as jabs near 500,000 a week
By 9News Staff12:17pm May 20, 2021
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has again backed the idea of a “vaccine passport” for interstate travel (last month) , as he played down the possibility of herd immunity to COVID-19.
Speaking to media in Melbourne, he warned there was no “hard and fast rule” on when vaccinations will bring Australia herd immunity.”I’ve said that overseas what we’ve been seeing is that many populations are levelling out at about the 60 per cent mark but medical opinion differs on those issues,” he said.
READ MORE:Public doubt on vaccines ‘won’t derail border reopening plan’
The idea of granting fully vaccinated Australians free passage around the country has been met with opposition from the Queensland and NSW premiers, but Mr Morrison continued to spruik the idea.
He said people who were fully vaccinated should be able to return to their home state if they were caught out by a sudden lockdown, or visit another state.
Mr Morrison said it was a “practical proposal” that he believed would have the support of Australians, and that he would discuss it further with the premiers and chief ministers.”This is something we tasked all the medical officers with through the AHPCC weeks ago, when we asked them to look at what the impact of Australians being fully vaccinated might mean for changed arrangements for quarantine,” he said.
Scott Morrison quietly abandons target to have all Australians vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year
by political reporter Jane Norman abc.net.au
Posted Sunday 11 April 2021 at 7:11pm, updated 11 April 2021 at 8:18pm
The Prime Minister has abandoned all targets for the nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccines after new medical advice threw the program into disarray.
- Mr Morrison said the government would no longer be setting targets for the delivery of the vaccines
- He said there were no plans to set any new targets for completing first doses
- Before the new medical advice for the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the federal government had missed every vaccination goal it had set itself
Australia’s medical experts on Thursday changed their official advice, recommending against the use of the AstraZeneca jab for people under the age of 50 because of concerns about a rare blood clotting disease.
Pfizer has now been nominated as the “preferred vaccine” for that age group, sparking a reset of the already sluggish rollout.
Given the uncertainties, Scott Morrison said the government would no longer be setting targets for the delivery of the vaccines.
“The government has also not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses,” he said in a statement.
“While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved.”
Earlier on Sunday, Trade Minister Dan Tehan suggested that aspiration was an official target.
“That’s the goal that we’ve set is to try and have all Australians have a dose by the end of the year,” he told Sky News.
Even before this latest setback, the government had missed every goal it set for itself.
The original long-term target, to fully vaccinate all 20 million adults by the end of October, was adjusted to a goal of giving all adults their first dose by that date. But that will now be impossible to achieve given AstraZeneca was the backbone of Australia’s vaccine strategy.
The government ordered nearly 4 million doses of AstraZeneca’s jab from overseas while Melbourne’s CSL facility has been contracted to produce another 50 million.
In light of the updated medical advice, the government scrambled to secure an additional 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine late last week, taking to 40 million the total number on order. But so far, only around a million doses have been delivered.
Australia also has deals with Novavax, although that jab is yet to be approved, as well as the international COVAX Facility.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said 170 million vaccine doses had now been secured as part of the $7 billion vaccine strategy, enough to inoculate the entire population several times over.
But he said the government was open to striking deals with other vaccine manufacturers if the medical experts recommended it.
Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler said there is a “time imperative” and Australians need to be fully vaccinated by the end of the year.
“It’s important that we get the current generation of vaccines into peoples’ arms so that we are ready for potential booster shots as early as later this year to deal with the variants, or the mutations, that are spreading all around the world,” he told Insiders.
As of Sunday, more than 1.16 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Australia.
1.16 Million vaccinations over the last 5 months works out to 232000 people vaccinated per month. With a population of 24 Million in Australia that still leaves some 20 Million (exempting young children ) will take more than 5 years to get to a fully vaccinated population.