‘Judged terribly’: Australia pledges to share vaccine
Australia is gearing up to manufacture and supply coronavirus vaccines if they are developed, Scott Morrison says.
Speaking after a National Cabinet meeting on Friday, the Prime Minister has again called on any country that finds a vaccine to share it.
"Australia is positioning itself well to take advantage and be in a position to be able to manufacture and supply vaccines should they be developed," he said.
"Any country that were to find this vaccine and not make it available around the world, without restraint, I think would be judged terribly by history and that's certainly Australia's view."
Mr Morrison dismissed questions about specific countries, adding that every country's leader should pledge their willingness to share.
Acting chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said the best minds in the world were concentrating on developing a vaccine, but there were no guarantees.
"We can't promise that there will be a vaccine or when it may occur," he said.
National Cabinet on Friday held its 25th meeting, which was dominated by the Victorian outbreak and its aged-care response.
Prof Kelly said the majority of cases were in young people, which highlighted the need to assess community engagement strategies.
Mr Morrison said there was an ongoing audit of aged-care preparedness nationwide, including workforce management.
He said the hotel quarantine review also under way had already highlighted the need for states and territories to "stress test" their arrangements.
International travel bans on inbound arrivals to Australia will also be continued, and leaders agreed to a freight code that will put in place rules for truck drivers crossing state borders.
"We also agreed (on) the tasking of the National Cabinet subcommittee on skills and their program of work, which will go over the next two or month as they're finalising those arrangements around the job trainer initiative," Mr Morrison said.
The Federal Government has now committed more than $300 billion in coronavirus support measures.
State and territory governments have also contributed a combined investment of more than $40 billion.
Mr Morrison said his government's broader plan for the economy would continue to be rolled out whether there was a vaccine or not.
"I have been trying to keep the economy, even in Victoria, at a level of operation which will mean on the other side, when we come out the other side, we're not making it harder on ourselves to see it re-emerge," he said.
Originally published as 'Judged terribly': Pledge to share vaccine