Australia is ready for the vaccination blitz, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has told ABC TV.
Mr Turnbull told the ABC in Brisbane on Sunday that the country had made progress on the global vaccination programme that was launched in 2015, but there was still work to do.
“We have had a lot of progress, but the challenge of making sure the health system is prepared for this vaccination blitz has not been achieved yet,” Mr Turnbull said.
The Australian Government will not roll out mandatory vaccines to all residents until the middle of 2019, with the first wave of vaccination occurring in 2021.
As part of that phase, more than 7 million people will be vaccinated and the cost of vaccination will be covered by the Government.
Vaccine advocates said Australia was not ready to embrace mandatory vaccination yet, and it was time for the Government to get moving.
Professor Stephen O’Keefe from the University of New South Wales said it was important to be prepared for the new wave of vaccinations.
He said the first phase would begin in 2021 and the first vaccines would be delivered by 2024.
Dr O’Keane said Australians were not prepared to take on the challenges that lie ahead.
It was important for the Australian Government to be ready for this vaccine blitz, Dr O’OKeefe said.
The ABC’s Paul Kelly reported from Brisbane.