Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to ensure that no coronavirus vaccine would be mandatory to Australians, despite earlier saying he hoped this to be the case.
The Federal Government reported overnight that it had signed a letter of intent with the UK-based drug firm AstraZeneca to secure the supply of a leading vaccine candidate that could be distributed free to Australians.
The government aims to see 95 per cent of Australians vaccinated if a successful candidate is found.
Mr Morrison, speaking of the expectations of a safe vaccine on Wednesday morning, told Melbourne radio station 3AW that he would “expect it to be as mandatory as you can possibly make it” noting the destruction that COVID-19 has brought to the world.
“There are always exemptions for any vaccine on medical grounds, but that should be the only basis,” he said.
But just hours later, Mr Morrison told listeners,
“It’s not going to be compulsory to have the vaccine.”