Senate debates

Monday, 22 November 2021

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Vaccination

2:09 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

The Prime Minister has been very clear right throughout the course of the pandemic that we have no appetite for mandatory vaccinations aside from where the health advice makes it very clear that there is a real benefit in doing so. In that regard, where the health advice so led the Prime Minister led and the government led, particularly when it came to aged care and requiring and asking the states to pursue mandatory vaccination around aged-care workers. That is something the Prime Minister took to national cabinet and asked the states and territories to agree with, and they progressively set about implementing that. We've supported them in relation to decisions about disability care workers and in relation to essential health workers, working with those who are most vulnerable and most exposed when it comes to COVID-19. We have been clear that, more broadly, the best way to achieve the high levels of vaccination rates that Australia has achieved—more than 85 per cent double-dose vaccination across the country—is to ensure that Australians understand first and foremost the benefit of being vaccinated, that it provides greater safety to them, to their loved ones and to those around them. Australians have responded most positively and in world-leading terms in regard to receiving vaccines. They have done so overwhelmingly voluntarily. We thank them for that and acknowledge the fact that they have heeded those messages, and we continue through public communications campaigns and other efforts to pursue and to urge Australians who have not yet been vaccinated to add to that 85 per cent double-dose rate to date.


No comments