Australian Treasurer Says Budget Assumes Virus Vaccine Next Year

(Bloomberg) —

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Glass vials move along a conveyor at the Gerresheimer AG medical glassware factory in Buende, Germany, on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020. Gerresheimer has built up capacity and most of its factories are operating around the clock as the company holds talks with pharma companies, working on a coronavirus vaccine.

Australia’s budget forecasts will assume a coronavirus vaccine will be developed in the next year, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says.

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“The budget takes into account the possibility that is the case,” Frydenberg told Sky News Australia in a segment from an interview to be broadcast Monday”. “We have factored in those issues related to the vaccine and those will be available on budget night.”

Assuming a vaccine is available in 2021 will be a positive for the economic outlook, as it may signal a return to international travel and foreign tourist spending. Frydenberg is set to use his budget on Oct. 6 to ditch fiscal restraints and unveil a massive surge in spending to restart the economy after it fell into its first recession in almost 30 years.

“We have worked hard with international counterparts to secure the vaccine for Australia,” the treasurer said.

Australia has joined the COVAX Facility, part of international partnerships with the World Health Organization and other bodies aiming to ensure equitable access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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