Health Care

Australia's PM says he is in 'no hurry' to reopen borders

"If there's someone over 50 who's there and wants to take that vaccine we'll be looking at how that can be achieved", the PM explained.

Australia's vaccine rollout has stalled due to supply hold-ups in Europe and concerns about blood clots tied to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which Australia has banked on for most of its supply.

"There's a lot of work to be done given that would be effectively, if we wished, a 12-week sprint", Scott Morrison explained.

"But I must stress this also, the worldwide borders are also an incredibly important protection for Australians and I'm not about to relax those restrictions lightly", he said.

From Monday, Australians and neighbouring New Zealanders will be able to travel between both countries without the need to apply for an exemption or spend time in mandatory quarantine.

He said the issues of borders and how they are managed will be done very, very carefully.

More than 1.7million vaccinations have been delivered in Australia to date, a six-fold increase in total vaccinations in the four weeks since the GP rollout began.

More news: Macron slams breakaway European football ‘super league’ plan

The federal government's goal of having the national rollout completed by October was thrown off course last month when concerns were raised of potential links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says Australia is exploring options for further bubbles across the Asia-Pacific region, such as a possible arrangement with Singapore.

The vaccine is still recommended for those aged over 50 and will be the primary vaccination offered to anyone in that specific age group.

The Prime Minister is pushing for the AstraZeneca jab to be made available to this age group, or phase 2a of the vaccine plan, via mass vaccination hubs and local doctors such as Global Positioning System.

"I am not going to tax our industries off the planet", he said.

"That is what is causing the alarm for myself and other Global Positioning System".

"We would like to send the message loud and clear that people have nothing to fear from this vaccine", he said. "It (the vaccine) is safe, it is effective".



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