Mandatory Covid-19 vaccine: NZ and Australia's different approaches

Source: 1News

Australia's prime minister says a vaccine for Covid-19 will be made as mandatory as possible while the New Zealand Government is taking a less stringent approach.

Scott Morrison has signed a landmark agreement with the drug giant Astra Zeneca to manufacture one of the world's more promising vaccines being developed.

Australia has secured 25 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

Britain has ordered 100 million doses but the World Health Organisation (WHO) says because coronavirus has gone global, national hoarding is the wrong approach.

"While there is a wish amongst leaders to protect their own people first, the response to this pandemic has to be collective,” says Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO.

Australia's target is to vaccinate 95 per cent of its population and to do that the Prime Minister wants it to be mandatory, barring medical exceptions.

However, the approach New Zealand authorities will take may be different.

“I think when you make things mandatory it often ends up with the effect of having certain populations or communites thinking that it's not a good thing and infringing on their rights and stuff,” says microbiologist, Siouxsie Wiles.

Jacinda Ardern says there's no need to make a vaccine compulsory in New Zealand.

“And I have to say that once we have that vaccination available and out then it is on everyone’s individual risk – if they choose not to they are putting their own health at risk. Because we would of course remove other controls that have stopped the spread,” Ms Ardern told 1 NEWS.

New Zealand's vaccine task force says it's still scoping out potential suppliers for its population and Pacific nations.