Date published: 
5 November 2020
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Well, joining me now live is the Health Minister Greg Hunt. Minister, thank you for joining me. I do want to get to two new vaccine agreements that have been signed – but just firstly on the US election. Donald Trump has pre-emptively declared victory – would you like to see the democratic process take its course?

GREG HUNT:

Look, obviously Australia has a strong commitment to democratic processes around the world. The US is a strong and robust democracy with strong and robust institutions, so, they’ll work through the process of counting the votes and declaring their results, and that will either happen today or in the coming days within the US. We’re used to postal vote counts in Australia - it’s a newer phenomenon in America - but we’re used to it here, and we’ll allow those processes to continue. And the American people will have had their say, and they will elect a government, and we’ll work with and respect the decision of the American people as we always do.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Absolutely. Minister, now to two new vaccine agreements that have been signed. What does this mean for Australia?

GREG HUNT:

Look, it’s immensely good news for Australia; two additional vaccine agreements, 50 million units - 40 million units with Novavax for a protein-based vaccine, 10 million units with Pfizer for a breakthrough new MRNA vaccine - that takes it to 135 million units approximately across four different vaccines. That gives us the potential to make sure that every Australian has access to a vaccine during the course of 2021. With most likely health workers, and subject to approvals, the elderly beginning in, most probably, March of 2021.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Okay. So, confident still, Minister, that Australia is on track for a vaccine rollout next year?

GREG HUNT:

Yes. Growing confidence that we’re on track for a vaccine rollout commencing in about March of next year. And this comes on the fact that, at a time when the world is seeing an accelerating virus – in Australia we’re down to just a handful of cases, or potentially zero on any one day – the early news today is promising, and we’re likely to be either at very few cases or potentially even zero depending on the news out of Victoria. The world is already at a point where today represents the highest daily loss of life during the course of the pandemic, more than at any time in March or April. And so terrible tragedy worldwide – an island sanctuary at home. We’re doing incredibly well, but the vaccines give us greater security, greater protection, and they’re about saving lives and protecting lives.

DANICA DE GIORGIO:

Yep, absolutely. Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt, thanks for joining me this morning.

GREG HUNT:

Take care.

Former ministers: