Australia would welcome an official invitation to the Group of Seven (G7) nations and there has been contact on the matter between the prime minister and the United States, a government spokesman said on Sunday.
"The G7 has been a topic of recent high-level exchanges," the spokesman said in an emailed comment. "Australia would welcome an official invitation. Strengthening international cooperation among like-minded countries is valued at a time of unprecedented global challenges."
U.S. President Donald Trump said he would postpone a G7 summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India.
U.S.-Australia ties have been strong, even though recent White House comments on the origins of the coronavirus outbreak have frustrated Australia's push for an independent inquiry, sources have told Reuters. The two security partners also diverged radically in their management of the pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been so far one of the very few world leaders to pay a state visit to Washington during Trump's tenure, and both leaders have openly signalled their camaraderie.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Morrison, unlike some European leaders, has avoided criticising Trump publicly and has teamed up with the United States in its tougher stance against China, Australia's main trading partner.Relations between Canberra and Beijing have been strained amid Australian accusations of Chinese meddling in domestic affairs and concern about what Australia sees as China's growing influence in the Pacific region.