Today's Karl Stefanovic says Covid vaccine fear is 'not anti-vax'

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys have urged the government to invest more time in convincing unsure Australians that the coronavirus vaccine is safe to use.

Before the vaccine rollout nationwide began today, the very first jabs were administered on Monday sparking discussion amongst those still hesitant to sign up for the program.

Karl Stefanovic Sylvia Jeffereys at the Today show desk
Karl and Sylvia called on the goverment to convince unsure Aussies that the vaccine is safe. Photo: Nine

Those opposed to vaccinations in general are described as 'anti-vaxxers' thanks to their reliance on debunked scientific research to support their stance in the face of ongoing assurance from the scientific and medical community that mass inoculation is the best and safest defence against infectious diseases.

Citizens concerned about the coronavirus program do not, according to Karl, fall into this basket.

The host made a surprising comment defending the doubters on the Today show on Monday morning, after fill-in host Sylvia Jeffreys mentioned the uncertainty amongst some Aussies.

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“There is maybe a sense of, ‘I want to see other people get it first before I dive in’. I suppose some hesitancy around that,” Sylvia said. “It is interesting, isn’t it? This is like nothing we have seen in our generation so it is uncharted territory.”

“There has to be patience with that," Karl said in response.

“These are not anti-vaxxers, these are everyday people who are just a little bit worried so it is up to the government and the authorities to convince those people it is OK."

Today show Karl Stefanovic Sylvia Jeffereys vaccine rollout
Karl and Sylvia didn't mince their words around the vaccine rollout. Photo: Nine

As Sylvia pointed out, however, despite the speed at which the vaccine was developed, the amount of global research and funding used to accelerate the development was similarly unprecedented.

“It is worth reminding people that never before has research into this kind of vaccination been so well-funded, so well-researched, so well-supported,” she said. “That is how they have been able to propel this forward so quickly.”

Scott Morrison receives covid-19 vaccine
The PM received the Covid vaccine on Sunday, a day earlier than the official rollout of Australia's largest ever vaccination program finally begins. Source: AAP

It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison became one of the first people in Australia to get a Covid-19 vaccination on Monday, a day earlier than the official rollout of Australia's largest ever vaccination program finally begins.

He joined the Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly and the Chief Nursing Officer Alison McMillan in getting vaccinated as well as healthcare workers.

"It is about confidence," Mr Hunt told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.

"Research shows that people want to see that if we believe it's safe, then that will give them greater confidence."

Mr Hunt confirmed that he and the head of the Department of Health and former chief medical officer Brendan Murphy will get the alternative AstraZeneca jab at a later date.

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