Covid-19 vaccination may be mandatory for all visitors to Australia

From 2021, overseas travellers might have to produce a vaccination certificate before boarding their flight to Australia.

By David Flynn, November 13 2020
Covid-19 vaccination may be mandatory for all visitors to Australia

Visitors to Australia may be required to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination, according to the government's new National Vaccination Policy.

The first wave of the promising Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is expected to be available by the end of this year, with up to 1.3 billion doses issued in 2021.

The Federal Government has secured 10 million doses, with Health Minister Greg Hunt earlier this week saying the program was "on track" for delivery in March 2021.

Injections will be free to all Australians and Medicare-eligible visa holders, although they won't be mandatory.

"While the Australian Government strongly supports immunisation and will run a strong campaign to encourage vaccination, it is not mandatory and individuals may choose not to vaccinate," the Australian Covid-19 Vaccination Policy states.

"There may however, be circumstances where the Australian Government and other governments may introduce border entry or re-entry requirements that are conditional on proof of vaccination."

No mandatory Covid vaccination

Prime Minister Scott Morrison stressed that mandatory Covid vaccination "is not the government's policy and has never been the government's policy,."

"Of course, we would encourage people to take up the opportunity. But they will make their own choices and we'll be seeking to provide the necessary assurances about the safety of the vaccine."

"There are no shortcuts here. There are no lower benchmarks that apply to this vaccine. It's a very important vaccine for the country and for everybody's health, but we will be applying the legal requirements that are there for people's protection."

A vaccine under development at the University of Queensland, which unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech jab would be mass-produced locally, is expected to begin phase-three clinical before the end of this year.

If successful, some 50 million doses would be freely available beginning as early as July 2021.

The government has also earmarked 30 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and 40 million doses of a Novavax treatment.

Rolling out Australia's free Covid shots

The National Vaccination Policy will also set guidelines for how vaccines will be distributed, stored and administered at sites ranging from dedicated vaccination clinics to GPs and medical centres, pharmacies and workplaces.

In the case of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which can't be manufactured in Australia due to its new approach of using 'messenger RNA' to instruct cells to build an immune response to the virus, Health Minister Hunt said a "national cold chain distribution program" had already been drawn up.

This would store and distribute the vaccine at required -70°C temperature using what's been described as "very sophisticated eskies" packed with dry ice, which offer up to six weeks of storage without being connected to power.

It's understood that the Covid-19 vaccines will typically require two jabs: a starter, followed several weeks later by a booster, and may also require an annual dose similar to a winter flu shot.

The batting order

Vaccines will first be issued to front-line healthcare and aged care workers and quarantine staff whose jobs put them at increased risk of exposure and transmission.

Next on the list will be people with a heightened risk of contracting a severe case of Covid-19 due to their age or underlying health conditions.

Injections will then roll out to what are described as "essential services workers": a group not yet fully defined but encompasses "key occupations" providing services "critical to societal functioning".

With those three bases covered, any member of the public – a group highly likely to include would-be overseas travellers – could line up for a shot.

"Our national goal is to ensure that all Australians who seek to be vaccinated are vaccinated by the end of 2021," Hunt said, adding that "we will not be out of this until we have a nation which has had a full vaccination program."

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David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 154

Priority for the vaccine should go to residents in NSW and VIC, being states that have not implemented unnecessary and draconian border closures. Last off the rank should be QLD and WA. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 281

I am from Qld and agree, NSW is also taking most of the returned Australians and as such will always be more susceptible to exposure to cases, so it is only fair NSW residents get priority.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 532

I agree 100% as a Qlder I’m shocked that the border is closed, it reminds me of Premier Joh days when you could ring up and have your speeding fines cancelled just because you knew the right person

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 403

Joh would never have closed the state border - he understood the importance of travel and tourism to the state's economy.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

John You are correct Joh would not have closed the border but not for the reason you suggest but because like Trump he really couldn’t care about people and their health. He was a crude crass populist with little concern for others except his mates many of whom ended up in gaol let’s not forget the damage he did, not only to Queensland but to his side of politics who basically haven’t been in power since, in a basically conservative state.

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 532

Agree

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 532

Agree John Phelan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 551

Donald Trump has just this morning decreed that New York State will not receive any priority vaccine support due to the NY State Governor's decision to shut down the New York borders during the worst of that state's experience. Are you seriously suggesting that we, in Australia, should follow such a blatantly political move?

Sure, I get that NSW has shouldered more of the burden than most, but hey, it's also the natural point of entry for most overseas tourists. NSW didn't have to worry about closing borders, all our other states did that for us, to protect their own states - except for Victoria which made such a mess of hotel quarantine.

If you want Federal borders to open up uniformly so that people can leave / arrive through MEL, BNE, PER as well as SYD, then you have to be fair and ensure that each city gets some approximately equal level of protection.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 154

The purpose of the vaccine is to allow the country to open up safely and resume life.

States such as QLD and WA deliberately and maliciously shifted the burden of quarantine, and have shown no constructive interest in reopening their borders. All for politician gain, and all whilst creating exemptions for football teams, celebrities and billionaires.

So yes they should be at the back of the queue.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

KW72 I agree it is deliberate but perhaps not malicious. Remember that the south west Sydney outbreak came from one person from Victoria and there have been a number of cases of people with infections crossing into Queensland and WA and skipping quarantine. The borders are now reopening but with a degree of I would argue natural caution. And I am sure they ca source their own vaccine. By the way NSW has let in and endless stream of celebrities to self quarantine the latest being Miranda Kerr and hubby.

24 Sep 2019

Total posts 14

You mean, behind Tasmania, which hasn’t taken any internationals and was first to close their borders? 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Annual overseas travellers to Australian states (million) to Sep 2018 NSW 4.38, Vic 3.1, Qld 2.76, WA 0.97, SA 0.47, Tas 0.3, NT 0.29, ACT 0.27 

 “In July, national cabinet set a 4000 person-a-week cap on returning travellers, which comprises 350 a day (or 2450 a week) in Sydney, 525 a week in Perth and 500 a week in Brisbane. Adelaide has a 500 person cap and there are no flights into Melbourne due to the Victorian outbreak.” (From Sydney Morning Herald)  

In September “He said the government wants this number boosted to allow the return of 6,000 Australians each week, up from the current cap of 4,000. “ & “Mr McCormack said this would include a 500-person increase to arrangements in NSW, with the same increases  taking place in Queensland and Western Australia, and a 360 place increase in South Australia. “ (from SBS)  

So to some extent, after taking Vic out of the picture, SA and (shock!) WA is doing more than their fair share by proportion in the incoming cap in comparison to previous international travel prior to 2019. Mind you I am not certain if the ADF capacity included in the WA cap. And the cap actually doesn’t reflect the true incoming numbers, which is more related to people having trouble getting on to th3 incoming flights due to costs and travelling to catch the actual flights.  

What is certain, (and has been for some time) is QLD not pulling its weight on its share in accepting overseas travellers. It should be taking 1500 instead of 500 in July, and 2000 instead of 1000 in September by proportion to NSW. 

04 Jun 2018

Total posts 16

It’s unfortunate that in today’s announcement following the monthly National Committee meeting nothing was said regarding international travel bubbles. 

In fact, while vaccination requirements for entry into Australia are not entirely new, e.g proof of yellow fever immunisation has been required for travellers from certain counties for years, the announcement that proof of COVID-19 immunisation may be required for entry/re-entry into Australia, stops short of addressing interim measures for families to be reunited and the recovery of critical industries such as tourism and higher education.

From the vague details provided by the committee, should one assume that until a vaccine is available to the wider Australian population, no earlier than July 2021, the border will be remain sealed off and the idea of bubbles will be silently dropped? How does the committee intend to reconcile its policy for mandatory proof of immunisation with the logistics hurdlers associated with making the vaccine available in the first place?

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Yellow fever vaccination has never been a solid entry requirement. The border authorities couldn't refuse your entry, particularly as an Australian citizen or permanent resident, for not possessing one.

I wonder on what legal basis the Australian government could prevent a citizen from returning, who does not wish to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Vitorsyd, most of the arrangements discussed today we’re about families reuniting through increased arrival caps. Bubbles will come (albeit slowly) but as they said alternatives to quarantine didn’t cut it. Note sco-mo is off to Japan this week to talk about bubbles among many other things.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Is Scomo subject to a 14-day home quarantine upon arrival in Japan, or is that only for us "peasants"?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

I’m not sure if he quarantined in Japan or if they require it but he is in home quarantine on return.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

I've noticed that in recent weeks prime ministers, foreign ministers and other dignitaries have quietly begun visiting foreign countries, all without needing to quarantine for 14 days (either at home or a hotel depending on the country) and yet no one points out this outrageous hypocrisy. Why can they travel with no quarantine but not us? Once again this is proof that there is an agenda behind all this, and that the rich are exempt from it.

You can bet that neither Scomo nor any foreign official will ever be required to quarantine or have a vaccine to travel. They might get a placebo swab test to make it look like they're doing something but that's about it.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Freq they actually do quarantine the PM right now is quarantining, and other ministers have throughout, and sco-mo is doing parliamentary Q time via video. An assertion is not evidence.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Are you saying Scomo is spending 14 days in quarantine before meeting anyone in Japan? I highly doubt that. The rules they make never seem to apply to themselves. I know for a fact the Hungarian foreign minister who recently visited Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand did NOT quarantine upon entering any of these countries, even though all of them have a mandatory 14 day quarantine requirement for all arrivals.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Freq it is after the meetings he is in quarantine in Canberra right now.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1000

Many of the candidate vaccines require booster shots up to a month after the first injection.

Are these dose figures the government has quoted as buying account for that booster?

eg, does the "10 million doses" for the Pfizer vaccine mean it will only be enough for 5 million. (base dose + booster = 1 dose or base + booster = 2 doses?)

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 69

The doses are counted per application - so 10m doses is sufficient for 5m.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

17 Nov 2014

Total posts 101

I strongly oppose mandatory vaccination for visitors to come to Australia:

1. Many people long to travel to Australia and vaccinated with the high quality CSL/UQ, Oxford/AstraZenaca, Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, as their country has yet to order vaccines or their vaccine are inferior, for example Chinese vaccines.

2. Coronavirus is just a little flu, they only kill elderly people who are only minority in our society. Why mandatory vaccination prior entry?

Please do a little reading and research through reputable websites and you will quickly learn that Covid-19 is NOT just "a little flu", and it does NOT "only kill elderly people." In addition, your point that the elderly "are only a minority in our society", and what's the supposed to mean? Are you saying that because they are "only a minority" they are disposable, we can afford to let this "little flu" kill them off? This is one of the saddest and most uninformed comments I have read this week. Please PLEASE spend some time reading outside of a handful of biased uninformed blogs, your friends' Facebook comments, Fox News etc.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Stop with the fearmongering AsiaBizTraveller, yes, it's just a flu. Fox News is corporate owned and spews out the same pro vaccine propaganda as CNN, so I don't know why libtards constantly make it out to be some "conspiracy" news source, when it's basically the same thing as the liberal media.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Freq yes being a corona virus it is flu like, and yes just a flu, but a very deadly one like we get from time to time. The last one this infectious but probably not quite as deadly was 100 years ago. This one clogs up hospitals more so than kills people but 1% mortality on a big number is still a big number.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 32

Sorry Patrick, point of order. The 1918-1920 H1N1 global pandemic (Spanish Flu) killed 50 million to 100 million people worldwide. Adjusted for population growth that would be equivalent to 400 million people today, dead!

500 million of the worlds population of 1.8 billion in 1918 were infected. That would be 2.2 billion in todays world.

The "Spanish Flu" was one of the most infectious and deadly pandemics in history. Way, way, way worse than COVID-19.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

rnickey exactly my point this one is not as deadly but still clogs up hospitals, and we are not one year in yet. Without a vaccine (which I am sure we now have) who know where we would be in year three of exponential growth. When excess deaths are counted we are probably well past one million

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

And for the record AsiaBizTraveller, some of us choose not to read the fear mongering liberal propaganda because we know they're incredibly biased, always support the corporations and we can see through their tired lies.

I don't even need to read a CNN or BBC article as I already know what they're trying to say before I read the article; they're so predictable. If it's a vaccine article it will be 100% pro vaccine with no contrary opinions allowed.

Your assertions are laughable.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

CityRail COVID-19 is a little flu like the Spanish flu was and went on to kill 50m. Not sure where your evidence is that Sinovac vaccines are inferior. The phase 3 trials are not over yet so a premature call. Now we are seeing hospital systems over run in Europe and the US with COVID cases blocking access for other medical conditions. You seem to be wishing that on Australia as you oppose both quarantine and vaccination, and rather heartlessy and incorrectly suggest only older people like me get it and die. The reality is that it can and does make people of all ages as sick as the proverbial dog.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 551

@CityRail - I hate to appear judgmental but your post is reminiscent of the views that currently pervade a large part of the USA, prompted by the incumbent (but thankfully, soon to leave) President. 

Perhaps you would prefer to see Australia suffer the same fate as the USA (ie: losing total control of a pandemic disease) by ignoring the potential severity across the entire population? Sorry, but as an 8th generation Australian, I don't. 

None of us particularly liked being under lockdown, but it has ultimately been proven to have worked for Australia. When you look at just yesterday's infection rate of 153,000 infections within 24 hours, in the USA - then you might understand why COVID-19 is referred to as a 'pandemic'. With some adult thinking, you might also begin to realize eventually what one of the major catalysts for a change of Government in the USA was.

Please be a little kinder to your fellow Australians. After all, we do not have a Bill of Rights to protect our individual freedoms .. and perhaps, in this particular instance, that is a very good thing. Your argument for "strongly opposing mandatory vaccinations for visitors to Australia" is looking very thin. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 403

We make other vaccinations compulsory for various things much less dangerous than Covid. If you are an anti-vaxxer, that's OK - but don't expect to leave Australia and come back again (without quarantine). Your "right" to choose anti-vax does not cancel the rights of other Australians to remain healthy!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Nonsense John. No vaccines are compulsory in Australia for anything other than for young children in some states who wish to attend childcare.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

04 Nov 2011

Total posts 352

It won’t be mandatory to be vaccinated, however when it’s mandated that you need to be vaccinated to travel, you watch all those so called anti vaxxers lining up for the jab.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

I don't think so russell. If there's no way out (such as seeking a medical exemption) then "anti-vaxxers" simply won't travel. It's not like international travel is a necessity anyway. As we've found out over the last few months, we can't take anything for granted, and governments worldwide are now treating travel as a privilege not a right.

I don't expect international travel to ever be as easy as it once was. Unless of course, we stand united against this unfolding tyranny and say "no" to compulsory vaccination.

BTW it's ironic, because I knew 3 years ago that vaccination for travel would sometime during this decade likely become mandatory or at least, governments would do their best to try and mandate them.

08 May 2020

Total posts 14

Excellent to hear travellers may be able to get vaccinated and travel abroad during 2021!

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

15 Mar 2019

Total posts 12

I can not believe the comments made by CityRail. I am very happy to provide a vaccination certificate if this means that we are able to enter Australia without self isolation/quarantine.

Please open the borders as soon as possible on this basis.

(We are Grandparents desperate to hug our family again!!!) 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Jan 2018

Total posts 32

Mandatory to vote yet discretionary to get a vaccine.

04 Jun 2018

Total posts 16

@patrickk I agree that raising the weekly caps are a starting point to reunite families, but I’m also conscious of those of us who have relatives overseas (E.g ageing parents) in bubble and non-bubble countries and are at the mercy of the vaccine and the government’s bureaucracy in making it available. Since paying for quarantine on return to Australia still requires permission to depart in the first place, then the government should at least allow us to travel to bubble countries and depart from there, do quarantine back in a bubble country and then return to Australia at virtually no cost or risk to the Aus government. Hopefully the PM’s visit to Japan will give him more evidence on how to re-open the borders safely.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Vitor I agree we should be able to leave if we are prepared to pay a business class fare to get back.

07 May 2020

Total posts 71

Scomo has again recycled his hot air topic about the vaccine saviour from at least a month ago.....yawn. It would certainly be a world first for a government to force a human to be injected with a foreign body. Secondly, even if the government did follow such a draconian strategy, and even if in their wildest imagination that the vaccine had 60 to 70% efficacy, at least 30% of travellers to Australia could easily import the enemy. And you wouldn't know which 30% those are so the reality is that all incoming travellers will still be quarantined and that policy will not change for a long time to come. Many do not want to think about this reality?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

GoRobin the latest vaccine seems to have 90% efficacy which if correct and all inbound have had it and most local have had it then the chance of uncontrollable spread is zero and some more controllable/traceable spread very low. The government will then take a lower risk chance to open borders. If it doesn’t work then then we be closed again. I seem to recall in my youth lots of vaccines were mandatory to do all sorts of things like go to school and travel. I think many if not most still are.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 403

There will be no quarantine for vaccinated travellers. Or else the vaccine is pointless. Our economy depends on people being able to travel without quarantine.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

You never know John. They might still impose a quarantine even if travelers are vaccinated. Ease of travel like in the past may never return and you may need to adjust your lifestyle to not require overseas travel anymore. It's sad, but it is what it is. You've already experienced 8 months of no travel, this could easily turn into forever.

07 May 2020

Total posts 71

patrickk...of course you can believe headlines and pharmaceutical company press releases if you choose. But scientific results have not been published and there is no covid vaccine available with 90% efficacy. Even when there is a vaccine, and if your dream come true about 90% efficacy, which Australian will head off to the covid infested northern hemisphere if they still have a 10% chance of dying. Even if you did survive the adventure. which DFAT officer is going to let you back into the country without quarantine if you could be one of the 10% who don't have vaccine immunity? But no harm in dreaming.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

GoRobin in your scenario you are assuming that nobody else is vaccinated at either end, just me. The 10% chance of dying you refer to is actually lower without vaccination but for those  infected is closer to 1% and of course if most are vaccinated the chance of catching (and dying or even being hospitalised) it is much much lower and assuming most of Australia vaccinated then border force are unlikely to stop me.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

GoRobin makes a good point. Merely being vaccinated may not be enough. They may test antibodies and quarantine you despite being vaccinated if they determine you don't have immunity. 

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Something strange going on here.

Experts had been warning since Aug that CSL does not have the capability to manufacture mRNA vaccines but last month the government and CSL issued some mambo jumbo about boosting capacity for conventional vaccine and creating new capabilities for others although it’s not clear whether they mean developing mRNA vaccine mass production capability (which is a new thing since there is nothing made on this scale before)

Pfizer’s announcement* is more notable for what wasn’t said rather than what wa said, is does more to stimulate stock prices than medical confidence. The other mRNA vaccine by Moderna is also a front runner in the US.

Even if (and its likely this is a big possibility) the Pzifer or Moderna vaccine doesn’t work as well as advertised, CSL is likely to need mRNA production capability in the long run, but the question is how far the federal government is willing to provide the seed money for this company.

* the vaccine appear to work to give the person a milder form of the illness when infected by COVID-19 virus, BUT not much was said about the infectivity of the vaccinated person which is very important consideration when considering the effectiveness of the vaccine. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

XWu the contract for the vaccine most recently mentioned is for delivery to Australia and the clinic from abroad, given manufacturing and extreme cold chain requirements. CSL has been contracted to manufacture other vaccines including the Queensland uni one.

07 May 2020

Total posts 71

Sure patrickk.....but that is going to take a loooong time, and that was simply my point. Quarantine for incoming arrivals to Australia will be mandatory for a long time to come, with or without the vaccine saviour..

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

GoRobin I suspect it comes down to definitions of a long time. I’m thinking towards the end of 2021 enough will be vaccinated here to enable non quarantine incoming given a vaccination will be an entry criteria, and an efficacy rate of 70-80% should be enough to stop it getting away. After a while with antibody levels it will join the other corona viruses that are the common cold.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

GoRobin is right. I suspect quarantines will remain permanently in some form. That is to say, that depending on where you are arriving from, your vaccination status and antibody count, some form of quarantine could still apply to you. End of 2021 non quarantine arrivals? Wishful thinking. Unless something happens whereby this whole Covid house of cards falls, then I don't think we're going back to any semblance of normality any time soon, save for the odd travel bubble here and there.

07 May 2020

Total posts 71

patrickk....indeed, I do believe that end of 2021 or most likely longer is a long time with only very limited international travel between Australia and the rest of the world in the meantime. Some people seem to think that international travel is going to open up within a few months when Scomo will deliver the "saviour".  I think that Australia is being seriously misled by the government. Mandatory quarantine on entry to Australia from most countries that have not followed an elimination strategy is going to remain for a long long time, saviour or not.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Agreed. I think that's going to be the reality of international travel for some time to come. Indians, Americans, Russians, the French, Colombians etc. won't be able to travel to Australia quarantine free for a long time to come.

Eli
Eli

30 Jul 2015

Total posts 100

It takes 15 years to R&D plus test vaccines, period.  So they have one for Covid19 all of a sudden, but no cure for HIV/AIDS and Cancer.

Think on that.

This is a set up for Australia.    Good luck.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Eli the studies for corona virus vaccines have been going on since SARS and earlier (remember that many common cold viruses are corona virus that is why it is used as a vaccine base), so it is not quite ‘all of a sudden’. This year has been spent tweaking and testing vaccines that have been under development for a while, so your 15 year time frame is actually close to the mark.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 1000

vaccine development is highly dependent on a number of things, including type of virus, strain of that virus, how 'stable' that virus is (ie, how fast it mutates and the effects of that mutation), how big the need for a vaccine is and the cost.

There is no 'cure' for HIV because it hijacks the immune system, which vaccines rely on to do anything useful.

There is no 'cure' for the "common cold" because there are over 200 different virus types that cause it and each one would require a different vaccine and mutate at different rates. The common cold also doesn't cause major issues (eg death) in the vast majority of cases, so there isn't much funding available for such research.

There is no cure for cancer, because each type of cancer is different and requires a different response. The available pool of funding isn't enough to cover the research needed.

Flu mutates quickly and different versions of flu are more prevalent each season. Being vaccinated to H1N1 isn't much use if you get infected by H5N3.

vaccines normally take "10-15 years" to develop, due to funding and testing issues when there isn't a global pandemic. When there are no funding issues, and as much red tape as is safe to do so is cut, the time required goes down dramatically. It is not "15 years to develop. period". Since day 1 of this pandemic, everyone in medical research fields have said best case with no funding or testing problems, that we could see a vaccine for Covid-19 in 12-18 months. The recent interim report from Pifzer and expected interim report from Moderna are not "all of a sudden" or a surprise. They are expected and we have always been expecting some sort of news from the leading Covid vaccine projects around now when the best case roll out start date has always been in Feb 2021.

A SARS vaccine was made during the 2003-04 SARS pandemic. It never got past testing because the virus burnt itself out and there was no one to test it with.

There is a MERS vaccine in development, currently in testing. It is hampered by there only being a small number of yearly cases in only a single region of the world.

There are over 140 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development, 2 dozen of them are in human trials. A number of them were able to take the research already made by the SARS and MERS vaccine development projects and apply them to SARS-CoV-2 because they are all Corona-viruses.

Testing for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines will be faster then 'normal' because of the amount of cases.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Thank you himeno for such a comprehensive summary of the why’s and wherefores.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1243

So essentially this is yet another speculative article.

I think it's a good rundown of the new National Vaccination Policy which looks at expected vaccine availability, distribution and who'll get it first, all according to the policy and some Govt ministers. Where's the "speculation", maybe you mean the NVP's own suggestion that a vaccine might be mandatory for travellers to Australia? If so, very fair and relevant for ET to include this in the article.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Eminere I suspect not entirely speculative. There is enough evidence out there that there is a good likelihood of something available next year. As GoRobin says tge question is when next year.

I would not hesitate to get immunised when vaccine becomes available. Just spent a few hours browsing airfares for 2021, it was psychologically fulfilling. Desperate to fly!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

LOL. So desperate that you'll submit to a largely untested vaccine that may cause significant side effects and will require annual boosters? I think I'd much rather stay home. I've done a lot of travel in my life already and although it would be sad for international travel to never become possible again, I'd rather stay in one country and live on my farm than submit to a risky medical procedure just so I can have a holiday.

07 May 2020

Total posts 71

Eli...yes, desperate politicians needing to give some message of hope. I think we will still be having the sane discussions 12 months from now.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Dec 2011

Total posts 9

I knew that if I hung into my old yellow needle book it would come in handy again.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

I think there is some talk that the COVID-19 vaccination record will online, although I would still want a hard copy record, as borderforce online has been known to be quite temperamental and some travellers on foreign passport with valid visa were not allowed to be given boarding pass until the counter staff cleared it with DIMA on the phone, when the website is on the blink from time to time. A relative of mine was made to wait for 40 mins, and luckily still managed to get to the gate on time (those advice to turn up early for destinations requiring preapproved electronic visa certainly came true)

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 279

Sorry I meant COVID-19 vaccination done in Australia will be recorded online, and I assume the federal government will expect incoming visitors are required to submit vaccination record online prior travel, much like the visa application 

18 Nov 2020

Total posts 2

Those that travelled in the 60's would be well aware of the "International Certificates of Vaccinations". Standard were Smallpox, Cholera, Yellow Fever and Typhoid. It all depended as to where you were going. It was a passport size booklet.    May be Covid 19 would be reason enough to reintroduce it world wide..

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

That never went away. It's been a feature for yellow fever vaccinations for decades now and also records details of travel vaccines, which have been required for a while, depending on the country.

Just off the top of my head - China requires proof of polio vaccination for overland arrivals from Pakistan.

Pakistan requires all citizens to be vaccinated for polio before flying out of the country. Probably also for land border crossings. Many countries, including Australia strongly recommend or even require, proof of polio vaccination for travellers who have spent 4 or more weeks in Pakistan, including non-citizens.

Saudi Arabia requires meningitis vaccines, polio and several others in order to be granted a Hajj vaccine and may administer oral polio shots at the border irrespective.

Several Pacific island nations/territories require MMR shots since late 2019.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 86

Whatever it takes, let's do it and do it fast! If you don't want to get vaccinated, no problem but the world is changing and laws seem to be able to be introduced to make things mandatory very easily. Maybe not mandatory to get vaccinated but very easy to block movement for anyone who has not been. 

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Yes that is something I've known about for several years. It may not be a big deal if you can remain unvaccinated with the only vaccine requirement being for international travel you just don't travel. So what. HOWEVER, the big issue is, what if vaccination becomes compulsory to hold down a job, to enter a supermarket, get a driver's licence etc.? Because that's already the case in Argentina since 2018, and could be the blueprint for the rest of the world, eventually anyway.

I am not an anti-vaxxer but who is going to be liable if it turns out after a number of years, that the vaccine causes cancer, birth defects, etc. Especially if the Government makes it compulsory to travel? 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 86

No one will be liable. That’s the truth of this matter. But the likelihood is so small in comparison to getting hit by a car, I will not worry unduly. For those that do worry, don’t have it!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Richard, as a matter of fact there have been MANY adverse events in clinical trials, few of which have been covered by the media. Several vaccine makers and governments have detailed ways of trying to deal with an expected "flood of adverse reactions". So the risk is not small at all. nekillim is right to be concerned (and so what if you are an "anti-vaxxer" whatever that means) because neither governments nor the manufacturers will be liable, either for short or long term effects.

After Qantas "no more desks",  compulsory vaccine to visit Australia ? After not even one year of trials ? No worries, bye bye Qantas and Australia (after all plenty of nice and cheaper places in Asia)

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Emirates are you suggesting that Asia will let in unvaccinated people after their hard lockdowns this year, you’re dreamin!!!

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Emirates, I hope you're right. Australia has been very authoritarian in it's approach (and as this intention by the Aus government shows) I think it could also be a sign of things to come in Asia. That being stated, it may, at least initially, only apply to airline passengers. Therefore, if you're already in Asia, you'll have to travel by land and make sure not to get on an airplane to cross borders. Not a big thing, as most SE Asian countries are pretty small anyway and their land based infrastructure is improving, allowing for faster travel than a decade or two ago. Catching a bus/train from Singapore to Vietnam via Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia (and Laos if you want) is something backpackers have been doing for years.

I fear though that patrickk could be right. Only time will tell.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

TheFreqFlyer I think you will find land borders in Asia are just as strict if not stricter. Vietnam is case in point Da Nang was locked down like Melbourne but for longer. The view that you can currently just get abus across these borders without checks is a tiny bit off the mark.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

Patrick, actually, no. Melbourne's lockdown was far stricter and lengthier than that of Danang. The Danang lockdown lasted 6 weeks, with the first 4 weeks being quite strict, but then they loosened things. Now they're almost back to normal, no longer rigidly enforcing face mask rules (though they are still compulsory in principle). Melbourne's lockdown lasted nearly 4 months and masks are still strictly enforced in indoor spaces.

One thing that Danang was very strict about back in August was testing all 2200 foreigners stuck in, or residing in the city. It was made mandatory. Not sure what would have happened if you refused. They reportedly tried to test all 1.1 million inhabitants, but I doubt that happened because it's not reflected in the statistics I've read, with 1.339 million tests done overall in the country since the crisis started. This means they probably only did a couple of hundred thousand tests in Danang and stopped there.

And I never said that crossing Asian borders is easy right now. Emiratesdisenchanted seemed to imply that things may return to the old status quo in the future. I simply said I hope he's right, but fear things will end up being quite strict.

That stated, I know of several examples of foreigners crossing into Thailand quite freely before Myanmar's second wave started in August. Between April and August, Burmese traders/shoppers were allowed to enter Thailand and trade their wares/buy/sell merchandise after little more than a temperature check. Cambodians were allowed to (get this) drive their own vehicles 75km away from the border, with their entire families, to go for hospital check-ups and then shopping afterwards in Surin. There were no quarantines, no tracking, no restrictions imposed on them. One person received permission to go to the hospital and then packed the car with the entire family! I think they put an end to that, but the fact it was happening for several months in a country widely seen as having strict border controls during this crisis goes to show you that all is not as it seems. It seems that Cambodia didn't reciprocate, which seems like a double standard, even if no Thai would ever go to Cambodia for medical treatment, but still.

Of course now Cambodia has imposed a 14 day hotel quarantine (the previous arrangement was 2 days in quarantine and you were allowed to do the rest of your quarantine at home or a location of your choice after testing negative) so things are getting stricter.

Land borders and arrivals by air = different treatment it seems. I also foresee the possibility of strict new requirements for travel being applied first exclusively to air arrivals and only later to land based ones. Currently, most third country citizens need to arrive by air, as land borders are only open to citizens of the neighboring country and even then, generally limited to truck drivers, transport and logistics operators and other permitted categories.

Thailand has been talking about reducing the quarantine time for "low-risk" countries including Australia down to 10 days and will reportedly vote on it soon, but there seems to be a reluctance to bring it down just yet. Although starting in January they aim to bring back the Chinese quarantine free, in time for Chinese New Year in order to boost the tourism industry and foreign investment.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1124

Freq I suppose it depends on sources bu DaNang had fewer cases to start with and went in much harder and they did test one third of the city over a week and a street with any cases was closed off and positives forceably hospitalised. If Melbourne went that hard it would’ve been quicker. Lockdown is related to cases. When numbers drop regulations are eased.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 86

Most governments around the world will definitely want to impose mandatory vaccines to travel or to enter their country. They cannot allow opposition to say they failed to look after their citizens. 

However, no matter what governments do, it will not slow or stop international travel. The overwhelming desire to move around the earth will very quickly see numbers of passengers grow. In March the general consensus was that people would be too scared to fly or to travel on a cruise ship. People have such short attention spans and as things change so do their opinions on what they are prepared to do. Watch when our first official bubble opens, it will be mayhem as people flock to travel to whatever country that is.

26 May 2011

Total posts 16

It is easier for governments around the world to ban things, rather than working towards solutions. If the vaccine is mandatory, fine - but the govt needs to roll out a system for it to happen and be recorded. If it is testing at the airports, work on that (other countries are doing it). Whatever the government needs to do to open our country, they should be working towards a policy and have the systems / information in place to make it happen. 

I worry our country will be able to open borders but the govt will never be ready and they will just continue the hotel quarantine because it is easier. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 86

VHOEJ - I also am amazed that with only 23 days until the government have to decide on international borders we are not hearing anything positive. I now expect that our borders will remain closed, including imprisoning it's own citizens, for another 3 months because they do not know what to do or how to control it! I hope I am wrong.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

The Australian government will almost certainly extend the travel ban for a couple of more months. Remember, this is a global crisis and until most of the world (and soon thereafter) the entire world returns to a semblance of normality, there is little point in begging to be let out, when most countries still impose travel restrictions and some have even imposed new more stringent ones in recent weeks, including China and Malaysia, both of which ban certain nationalities from entering OUTRIGHT even if they hold permanent residency in these countries. So, an Indian or American PR holder is banned from returning to Malaysia at the present time, while an Indian, Filipino or Belgian long-term residency visa holder is prevented from returning to China at this time, even if they agree to undergo the mandatory quarantine.

Therefore, Richard, it doesn't really matter. Unless things start getting worse in Australia, I think it's not a bad place to be right now. With the exception of Victoria and now Adelaide, things are fairly open in Australia. It's one of the only countries in the world where you are allowed to catch a domestic flight without a face mask (except routes to Victoria and possibly Adelaide). In America you can be banned from flying for so much as pulling your face mask down on a plane, and in Asia it's impossible to imagine being allowed to board without one either. These rules will certainly remain in effect for at least 3-6 more months in my opinion, and possibly longer.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 86

You are right, Australia is a decent place to be, but if what I want is not here, then off I go. End of December I am leaving and will just have to endure 14 days quarantine on my return 4 weeks later I guess. No problem.

05 Oct 2017

Total posts 237

VHOEJ, I don't think a mandatory vaccine for travel is anything to look forward to. In time, you won't be able to buy groceries at the store without getting one! That's where we're headed it seems.

I am sure there will be some kind of global "solution" rolled out within the next 12 months, which will open all the borders. There is a small chance of things going back to the old status quo, but more than likely, they will push hard for the digital health passport. An actual mandatory Covid-19 shot is unlikely to happen just yet. It could happen in the future, but I don't see it happening in the short-term.


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