Waleed cut off by producers during vaccine rantRachel Corbett was debating Waleed Aly’s stance on the vaccine. Picture: Channel 10

The Project got very heated during a debate about COVID-19 on Tuesday night’s episode.

Waleed Aly was cut off by producers in the middle of a discussion with co-host Rachel Corbett about the vaccine.

During a segment highlighting the percentage of Australians willing to get the vaccine, with some incredibly unwilling, Aly and Corbett got into a debate about how far the “no jab no play” idea would go.

“This is such a good idea for travel,” said Corbett. “I don’t mind if it becomes something for everyday life. If you have to have the little tick in your passport to go to work.

“If you can’t have it, then you can still go into work because we don’t need to be 100% vaccinated but we need to be decent percentage. Some people might not be able to get the vaccination. The idea we can’t go into work if we haven’t got vaccinated, we’re in a pandemic.”

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Aly disagreed. “Hang on. I don’t want employers to have that much power over your decision,” he said.

“I feel like it’s sensible and let’s get the jab and get into work,” Corbett insisted.

“There’s a difference between saying it’s sensible and encourage people to take a vaccine and a measure that could have all kinds of consequences down the track,” Aly fired back.

“What about the consequences to another outbreak happening or a business closing down and all those kind of things?” countered Corbett.

“To me the consequences of an employer being able to dictate your health decisions is profound,” said Aly. “Imagine if they made rules like that about things you didn’t agree with, it would be frightening.”

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“In this situation your business could shut down and that’s been a huge problem. If that could keep your business open, that’s reasonable?” said Corbett.

Aly got halfway through his reply before admitting producers had told him to zip it.

“I think that’s a fair point. I’m being told I have to shut up now,” he concluded.

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout kicked off after a second delivery of Pfizer vaccines arrived in the country on Tuesday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said residents across 240 aged care homes were expected to be vaccinated by the end of this week after the rollout began on Sunday.

“My advice is that we are on track and on schedule and in fact we may be able to beat that,” he said.

“The consistency of supply has been strong and heartening.”

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More than 120,000 doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was in the second shipment.

Of those, 50,000 doses will be made available to the states to vaccinate hotel quarantine workers and frontline healthcare workers.

A further 30,000 will be given to aged care homes to vaccinate Australia’s most vulnerable.

The rest will be set aside at a secure location to ensure there are enough vaccines for people to get their second dose in case of supply issues.

Mr Hunt said the AstraZeneca vaccine remained on track for early March and would allow for a doubling of doses per week.


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