The federal government is said to be considering granting an exemption to international travelers and returning Australians.
But health experts warn that quarantine in hotels should still be in place for some time, until herd immunity is achieved.
However, they trust its efficacy in reducing the severity of the disease.
Infectious disease expert and WHO adviser Mary-Louise McLaws said today that it was vital that the hotel be quarantined, at least for now.
“There is still a high probability that, even when we are vaccinated, we will have silent or symptom-free COVID and theoretically we can transmit it to other people,” said Professor McLaws.
“We should get vaccinated because we won’t have very severe COVID or very terrible symptoms that will keep you in bed, but we could still spread it to other people.”
Professor McLaws said there were questions about herd immunity and the level needed to achieve it.
She believes that 80 to 90 percent of the population would need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the injection to be effective.
The vaccine launch is likely to begin in March and continue through at least October, he said.
“I think we have to go back to a sort of normal appearance before COVID, although that won’t happen for a long, long time because it will take us from March to October in a high-income country to vaccinate everyone.
“Low-income countries will not be able to do that for several years. And when we travel abroad or travel between states and return, we will have a huge problem with quarantine.”
The government would need to use rapid testing technology that would allow vaccinated people to be quickly tested and then sent home with a test kit, he said.
“We need to think scientifically and innovatively so that we can get back to something close to normal.”
“At some point you have to open up and accept that it will come through the population and just make sure the vaccines have been distributed,” Dr. Khorshid told the SMH.
“There is no doubt that these vaccines are not the miracle solution for our borders and we will see that the quarantine will remain for many months … if the government decides that it wants the entire population to be vaccinated before we open.”