Steve Price has made his opinion about the COVID-19 vaccine known on Wednesday’s episode of The Project.
While it has become known that frontline healthcare workers and the elderly community will be first in line to get the vaccine, Price believes that this will cause ‘discrimination’ for younger people who will have to wait a lot longer to get the jab.
“Steve, do you agree that you should be getting the vaccine over a 20-something-year-old?” asked host Waleed Aly.
“I’m not quite at the top of the list, they are starting at 80-plus. I think most of us were surprised to learn this morning that they are going to limit the vaccinations for people under the age of say 60, and the 20-year-olds won’t get it until later in the year. I would have thought once you got all essential workers, frontline health care workers and the elderly vaccinated then it would be a free-for-all but apparently that is not going to happen,” said Price.
“There are reports that over 70s will be first up then they’ll work back. The acting Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly didn’t confirm it but on some level though Steve it does kind of make sense, like you start with the oldest and work down. That has some logic to it, right?” co-host Marc Fennell asked.
“It does. Particularly given what happened with the aged care in Victoria in particular where tragically we lost many people. I don’t think most Australians were prepared to think that there was going to be vaccination discrimination, that you are 25 years old, come say April or May next year you won’t be able to get on a plane but if you are my age, 65 years old you will be able to fly.
“I’m not sure how they are going to work that out and there is a lot of questions to be asked about exactly who is going to get this and when,” Price continued.
Reports emerged on Wednesday stating that people will be separated into 12 age groups for the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
Under the government’s blueprint, the first group to be prioritised for the vaccine will be people at risk of serious illness and those with chronic diseases.
Paul Kelly explained that people on the frontline such as health and aged care workers would be second.
“The third priority will be essential workers that are needed to keep our society going,” Professor Kelly said, adding international airline crew would also be up the top of the list.
“Our aim for 2021 is to have anyone in Australia who wants to get this vaccine, vaccinated, and so yes there will be a queue.”
Australia signed a deal to buy 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, enough to cover five million people for the two required doses, but its rollout won’t begin until March 2021.
Children under the age of 18 are unlikely to be vaccinated at all during 2021 because pharmaceutical companies have not sought approval for the vaccine to be used in younger people.
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The strategy of the rollout means young people may have to wait for another year if they want to travel overseas.
Airlines like Qantas have already suggested that proof of a COVID-19 vaccine will be a non-negotiable condition of international air travel as soon as it’s available.
Moderna, American biotechnology company, announced the emergency vaccine got approved after a study showed it is 94.1 per cent effective against coronavirus.
The company’s filing means it’s likely the drug will be the world’s second vaccine to receive emergency use authorisation in the US this year. Moderna also announced its intention to apply for emergency authorisation in Europe.
The vaccine has no serious side effects.