Australia is to ban its citizens from receiving COVID vaccine on the grounds of “safety” for the elderly and the very young.
The move, which the country’s top health minister said was a “first in the world”, was announced at a meeting of the nation’s top healthcare bodies on Tuesday, with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) saying it was a way of “trying to ensure the most effective and efficient way of controlling COVID in Australia”.
The move follows an announcement last week by the World Health Organization (WHO) that Australia would no longer allow COVID vaccines on children under 14 years old because of the “high risk” of spreading the virus.
Australia is the second country to impose a blanket ban on the use and supply of COV-19 vaccines.
The UK’s Prime Minister, David Cameron, had previously said that he would not allow children aged under 14 to receive the vaccine.
In its announcement, the AMA said it was concerned about the “very low vaccination rates” of children and the “significant potential for COVID infection”.
“The vaccine is available on a number of medications, including the non-opioid and non-benzodiazepine medicines,” AMA chief executive officer Dr Andrew Capp said in a statement.
“There are concerns that children, especially children who have not received any vaccinations, may have a lower immune response and therefore more risk of developing COVID.”
The AMA has therefore advised the government to limit the availability of COVEVs and vaccines in children under 18 years old.
“A spokesperson for the Department of Health said: “The government recognises the importance of protecting the health of our young people, and is committed to ensuring that the highest level of protection is achieved for our young Australians.
“We are committed to working closely with our health partners to ensure that our vaccines are available and accessible to as many Australians as possible.”
A spokesman for the Australian Vaccine Initiative (AVI), a government-funded vaccination programme, said that the decision was a positive step towards reducing COVID transmission.
“This is a positive development, with Australia now moving away from a blanket blanket ban,” he said.
“In many ways this is a good step in the right direction and is the right step in addressing the concerns of the medical community.”
The move was welcomed by the Australian Government, which had already pledged to ban children under 12 from the vaccine in 2020.
The Prime Minister also reiterated his opposition to any vaccine being administered to children aged 16 to 17.
“If we are going to have the best possible vaccine, we need to make sure that it is for the best people, for the most vulnerable,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“That is not for people who are young, it is not against anybody who is old, and it is against those who are very young and very vulnerable.”
“The fact that it’s a young person who is at risk of getting the vaccine, which is very risky, I don’t think is a surprise,” he added.
“What is surprising is that we are seeing this in the UK, in the US, in France, in Germany.”‘
A lot of fear’There is concern that the Australian government may be restricting access to the vaccine by “protecting” the wealthy and “protect[ing] the privileged”, the AMA chief said.
“We are very concerned about that.
We do not want to see the vulnerable excluded from our society and our health system,” he warned.”
For those who have been exposed to the virus, the impact of this vaccine is very profound, and the cost is very high.”
You are not just paying the cost for your healthcare.
You are also paying the costs for not getting the proper protection.
“The AMA said that COVID has the potential to cause an epidemic.”
If we cannot do this properly, then we cannot protect our society.”