Morrison: COVID-19 vaccine will be as "mandatory as possible".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he intends to make a COVID-19 vaccine “as mandatory as possible” for all Australians once it becomes available.
Speaking to 3AW’s Neil Mitchell this morning, Morrison said that vaccination needed to get to about 95 per cent of the population.
“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," he said.
"I mean we’re talking about a pandemic that has destroyed you know, the global economy and taken the lives of hundreds of thousands all around the world and over 450 Australians here. We need the most extensive and comprehensive response to this to get Australia back to normal."
Scott Morrison has put Australia's hand up for a coronavirus vaccine being trialled by Oxford University and British drug company AstraZeneca.
Under the deal, Australia would make and supply the vaccine - should it prove safe and effective - and provide it free to all Australians.
"The Oxford vaccine is one of the most advanced and promising in the world, and under this deal we have secured early access for every Australian," the Prime Minister said.
Mr Morrison admitted there was no guarantee the vaccine would be successful, so the government was continuing talks with other parties as well as backing Australian researchers.
The letter of intent with AstraZeneca, and a needle and syringe contract with Becton Dickinson, are the first announcements under a national COVID-19 vaccine and treatment strategy.
The vaccine strategy is expected to be worth billions of dollars, with the Prime Minister hopeful a vaccine could be rolled out in Australia by "early 2021".