Australia drags chain on vaccine rollout

The Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) president Omar Khorshid says the federal government’s goal of vaccinating the entire population by October is looking challenging, and the end of the year is looking more realistic.

The federal government has already fallen well short of its target of vaccinating 60,000 people by the end of February, with only 33,700 people receiving the jab (see below table). The new figures show that about 75% of available Pfizer doses were administered in New South Wales during the first week of the vaccine rollout, compared with just 30% in Victoria and 22% in Queensland. However, the government expects to ramp up the vaccine rollout in coming weeks.

The tardy roll-out in Victoria is especially concerning given its repeated failures in managing hotel quarantine and its propensity to shut down the state.

Let’s hope front-line staff like medical and quarantine workers have been given priority, given they are the key gateways for spreading the virus from quarantine into the community. Vulnerable members of the public, such as the elderly, should be next in line to receive the vaccine.

Regardless, our governments need to pick up the pace and get the vaccinations rolling so that we can end lockdowns and return to some semblance of normal life.

Unconventional Economist
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