Senate debates

Thursday, 12 August 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Vaccination

2:39 pm

Photo of Richard ColbeckRichard Colbeck (Tasmania, Liberal Party, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services) Share this | Hansard source

Thanks, Senator Hanson, for the question. The concept of requirement for booster vaccines is something that the government has had as a part of its strategy for a considerable period of time.

As you would be aware, the Moderna vaccine has recently been approved. A proportion of it is under consideration for utilisation as a booster dose. The fact is that this is a new virus. The vaccines for the virus are new. The life of the vaccine and the period that antibodies are retained in the human body was always a question, so the concept of a booster vaccine has always been something that we've been considering. We have plentiful supplies in our vaccine supply strategy for that.

As we see the evidence that comes from these other jurisdictions that have higher vaccination rates and have vaccinated before us, we will clearly consider that information and we will incorporate the learnings from that into our mechanisms for the continuation of the vaccination rollout, whether that be with the Moderna dose or whether that be a variant of the vaccines that are being proposed, considered and developed by a number of other vaccine manufacturers. So the concept of requiring a booster vaccine is not a new one. It is something the government has always been considering. It already sits as a part of our considerations. Once we get to the stage of understanding that better through the evidence that we are receiving from other jurisdictions around the world, the requirements for that and the operation of that— (Time expired)


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