Corona Vaccine Tracker, August 20: A day after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Coronavirus vaccine deal with pharma major AstraZeneca and said all Australians will get the vaccinated for free, he went on to suggest that he would also like it to become mandatory for everyone in his country. Within hours, however, he was forced to backtrack and clarify his statement.
“I would expect it to be as mandatory as you can possibly make,” Morrison was reported as having said in a radio programme.
“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. So, you know, we need the most extensive and comprehensive response to this to get Australia back to normal,” the Prime Minister said.
But within hours, he had to alter his position and clarify, in another radio programme, that all he meant to say was that he would like to “encourage” everyone to take the Coronavirus vaccine.
“We can’t hold someone down and make them take it,” he said.In some countries, there is a relatively low level of confidence in the vaccines being developed, mainly because of the haste with which they are being produced. Several opinion polls in the United States and Europe have shown that a large proportion of people were unsure about taking the vaccine when it becomes available.
In the United States, Anthony Fauci, an infectious disease specialist and one of the most trusted voices on the current pandemic, was asked the same question, about the possibility of making a vaccine mandatory for everyone, and he said he did not think it would be made mandatory in the United States.
“I don’t think you will ever see mandating of a vaccine particularly for the general public. If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there is nothing you can do about that,” he said.