Australia Covid live news update: Morrison says sorry for slow vaccine rollout; NSW records 124 new cases and Victoria 26


I completely respect the advice of Atagi. That is why we followed the advice of Atagi. It is any job as prime minister, not just to simply accept advice uncritically. Whether it is sitting in cabinet meetings or in other forums, of course I challenge the advice that I receive. I ask questions. I drill into it. You would expect me to do that.

I think Australians would not expect me to just take this advice simply on the face of it. We must interrogate it. Leaders should do that, ministers should do that. That always has been my approach, whether as a minister and as a prime minister, and there are plenty of officials who work in this town who know that very, very well, but I respect them all. I respect the job they do and I respect the way they engage with me on it.

What I am simply have been raising in relation to the AstraZeneca advice is when it was provided initially and subsequently in relation to those over 60, is that when that advice was provided they said it was based on the balance of risk, of people getting Covid. Now, my simple point is that the balance of risk has shifted and therefore, based on the balance of that risk shifting, what, if any, is the change in the advice that Atagi would provide?

Because I am very concerned, very concerned, that of course the advice that had come previously has caused some hesitation amongst people, particularly older people. Those people are now at risk in south-western Sydney, in particular, but more broadly across Sydney and I need AstraZeneca vaccines in their arms to protect them and their lives.



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