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Sukkar is then asked about the “inept” vaccine roll-out to date, and gets a little testy.
Look at Australia, on any metric, whether you look at the health metric, whether you look at the economic metrics. We are top of the leaderboard in virtually any way you measure our response to COVID-19. I don’t think Australians look at that anything other than a sense of pride – pride in themselves, first and foremost, for rising to the occasion throughout COVID-19. I don’t think anybody could use the word “inept”, when describing Australia’s response to COVID-19.
Sukkar goes on:
It is diversifying, it’s another step along the road of keeping Australians [safe] and ensuring that in the end we are able to offer all Australians the opportunity to be vaccinated.
He is asked whether all Australians will receive a second dose by the end of the year.
I would just echo the Prime Minister’s remarks. In the end, yes, there are assumptions that are made as part of the budget. That’s how we put budgets together…We want to get all Australians vaccinated as soon as possible and offer that opportunity to Australians as soon as possible. There are so many ways in which the rollout is impacted, global factors amongst other, very well-known to you and viewers, we are working tirelessly to try to deliver that as soon as possible.
The assistant treasurer and housing minister Michael Sukkar is speaking to the ABC.
He says of the Moderna announcement: “It’s another step in the plank of making sure all Australians are vaccinated.”
NSW plans to bring back international students this year
The New South Wales government is going to have a crack at bringing international students back this year.
AAP reports that under the plan before the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, overseas students would be quarantined in Sydney using purpose-built housing.
Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg said in releasing the budget this week that Australia’s borders would stay shut for the foreseeable future.
But Morrison said the commonwealth was aware of the ambitious proposal.
“They’re still a long way from landing this, I should stress,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Thursday.
“But it’s something that we’re encouraging of but it’s got to be done safely and we’ve got to be able to do it in a way that doesn’t risk the great success we’ve had.”
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet hopes international students will be back in lecture halls and tutoring sessions by the second semester.
“This is about finding a way to bring students back but not at the expense of the weekly cap of Australian citizens arriving back in NSW,” he told the Australian.
“If we don’t address this issue then I believe we’ll have an industry on its knees and one that will look elsewhere.”
The international student market is worth $14bn a year to the NSW economy.
We should also all take a moment this morning to appreciate how great Sam Kerr is (even though she plays for Chelsea).
Last night there was also this story published relating to the death of a young girl in a Perth hospital emergency department. A staff member has resigned after the girl and her family waited two hours for help before she died of sepsis.
But the main story this morning is the Covid-19 vaccine agreement signed with Moderna. Here is a little more detail from the US company’s statement released late last night Australian time:
The statement says the agreement “includes 10 million doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine against the ancestral strain (mRNA-1273) to be delivered in 2021 and 15 million doses of Moderna’s updated variant booster vaccine candidate to be delivered in 2022.
“Purchase under this agreement is subject to regulatory approval of mRNA-1273 and booster vaccine candidates by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia. The Company expects to submit an application to the TGA shortly. As Moderna has continued to scale its commercial network, the Company announced earlier this year that it also plans to open a commercial subsidiary in Australia in 2021.”
The chief executive officer of Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, said:
We appreciate the partnership and support from the government of Australia with this first supply agreement for doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and our variant booster candidates.
As we seek to protect people around the world with our COVID-19 vaccine and potentially our variant booster candidates, we look forward to continuing discussions with Australia about establishing potential local manufacturing opportunities.
The statement adds that Moderna already has agreements with Canada, Israel, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore, Qatar, Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei and the World Health Organization.
Here’s another significant story that emerged late yesterday in relation to Brittany Higgins:
Good morning and welcome to today’s coverage, with the big news that the federal government has signed a deal with US pharmaceutical company Moderna for 25m doses of its mRNA vaccine. The federal government has been criticised over the slow pace of its rollout and the over-reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine and there are hopes that the Moderna announcement will help get the program back on track.
It’s also budget-reply day. Labor leader Anthony Albanese will deliver his speech to parliament at 7.30pm but has already outlined some of the key areas he will focus on.
Albanese will unveil a new policy to help 2,000 young entrepreneurs cover some of the costs of participation in accredited “accelerator” programs in universities and private-sector incubators.
His reply to the budget is also expected to include new commitments on renewable energy and initiatives for women.
Let’s get started.
Source: The Guardian
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