Waleed Aly was cut off by the producers in the middle of a discussion with co-host Rachel Corbett about the vaccine.
During a section that highlighted the percentage of Australians who were willing to receive the vaccine, and some were incredibly unwilling, Aly and Corbett got into a debate about how far the no jab no play idea would go.
« That’s a good idea for travel, » said Corbett. « I don’t mind if it becomes something for everyday life. If you have to have that little tick in your passport to go to work.
« If you can’t have it, you can still go to work because we don’t need to be 100% vaccinated, but we do need to have a decent percentage. Some people may not be able to get the vaccination. We can do the idea Don’t go to work if we haven’t been vaccinated, we’re in a pandemic. »
Aly disagreed. « Wait a minute. I don’t want employers to have that much power over your decision, » he said.
« I think it’s sensible and let’s take the push and get to work, » insisted Corbett.
« There’s a difference between saying that it makes sense and encourages people to take a vaccine and doing something that could have all sorts of consequences, » said Aly.
« What about the consequences of another outbreak or business closure and all of those things? » countered Corbett.
« To me, the ramifications of having an employer dictate your health choices are profound, » said Aly. « Imagine if they made rules like that about things you disagree with, it would be scary. »
« In this situation, your company could be closed and that was a big problem. If that could keep your company open, is that reasonable? » said Corbett.
« I think that’s a fair point. I’m told I have to shut up now, » he concluded.
The introduction of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia began after a second shipment of Pfizer vaccines arrived in the country on Tuesday.
Health Secretary Greg Hunt said residents of 240 nursing homes are expected to be vaccinated later this week after the rollout begins on Sunday.
« My advice is that we are on the right track and on schedule and that we may even be able to go better, » he said.
Of this, 50,000 doses will be given to states to vaccinate hotel quarantine workers and frontline health workers.
The rest is kept in a safe place to make sure there are enough vaccines available for people to get their second dose if there is a supply problem.
Mr Hunt said the AstraZeneca vaccine stayed on track in early March and would allow doses to double per week.
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