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Australians doubt over vaccination threatens border reopening plans

The Federal Government remains committed to reopening Australia’s borders despite the public’s growing reluctance to receive the COVID-19 vaccine – revealed in a new survey today.

Nearly one-third of Australians said they won’t be vaccinated against coronavirus, a survey by The Sydney Morning Herald found.

“It’s not just in Australia … you’ve seen in the United States, nearly half the population being very cautious about having a jab too,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said public concern over the COVID-19 vaccine was understandable. (Nine)

“Look, it’s understandable that some people are hesitant, but ultimately, the more people that get the jab, the better.”

Mr Frydenberg said Australians were all part of one country and reiterated Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comments that vaccine was vital for fully reopening state borders.

The treasurer praised NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for avoiding full scale lockdowns.

“We’re all one country … she has not gone down the path of other states with the state lockdowns, even though you’ve had outbreaks on the Northern Beaches.”

A new poll has found that nearly one-third of Australians say they won’t be vaccinated against coronavirus. (Getty)

The research revealed that 29 per cent of people will say no to the jab while only 14 per cent declared they were extremely likely to be vaccinated.

Vaccine doubts were stronger now than before reports the AstraZeneca vaccine was linked to blood clots.

In an interview with 9News political editor Chris Uhlmann on the two-year anniversary of his election last night, Mr Morrison said proof of vaccination for domestic travel would require the agreement of the states and territories, saying it’s them “who actually prevent Australians moving from one state to another consistent with their public health orders”.

“Those public health orders are the instrument that is used legally to prevent Australians moving from one state to another,” Mr Morrison said.

A year since the pandemic hit, Mr Morrison said his strategy to reopen international borders “is one step at a time and a risk that Australia can manage safely”, indicating he was open to quarantine at home but “it’s not something that’s doable yet”.

The Budget papers made an assumption international borders would remain closed until mid-next year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told News political editor Chris Uhlmann the reopening of Australia would be a gradual process. (Nine)

Mr Morrison described the reopening as “a gradual process”.

Phases would include Australians moving more freely around Australia, possibly under vaccination passports, then Australians being able to travel overseas if they have been vaccinated and potentially quarantine at home.

Mr Morrison said about the same time, Australians who had received “approved” vaccinations overseas could return safely.

Meanwhile, the NSW Government is considering opening a second mass vaccination hub, possibly near Newcastle.

The first clinic at Sydney Olympic Park has been deemed a major success by health officials.

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