Morrison’s mates cream the vaccine failure

There is only one thing worse than the Morrison Government under-investing in the economy to meet some political goal of budget austerity. That’s the Morrison Government electing to spend money and falling foul of its hapless implementation and project management.

Exhibit number one is the vaccine rollout, the only job that Morrison gave himself in the pandemic, which continues to disappoint daily.

Today’s mess comes courtesy of the new boom in vaccine hesitancy, courtesy of Morrison’s horrendous procurement policy:

  • Almost one-quarter of available vaccines are going unused.
  • 50-70-year-olds are waiting for Pfizer jabs over Astra Zeneca.

Of course, they are. Why wouldn’t they? It doesn’t matter that the AZ risk is small. The Pfizer vaccine has better efficacy against the original virus and all variants. Which is no doubt why Morrison gave it to himself while buying the el cheapo AZ version for everybody else.

The question is not why people are hesitant. It is why the Morrison Government didn’t buy a broader spread of vaccines at the outset? Especially Pfizer, which offered it mid-last year. Whether it was corruption or failed risk management doesn’t really matter. Morrison is culpable, either way.

Meanwhile, pressure is mounting from various corners to get on with it:

  • NSW will reopen international borders at 80% vaccination rate.
  • Morrison is discussing effective vaccine passports for local and international travel. Though what good is that going to do when states shut down whenever the virus appears, meaning travel plans are useless?
  • Lyndsay Fox says he could dedicated quarantine centres in months but Morrison says he won’t do it.
  • Various premiers are warning of more deaths and the inevitability of reopening.
  • Various business leaders are demanding faster reopening.
  • The disability sector rollout is a schmozzle.

To be honest, it’s not an easy topic to follow anymore. All is policy and rhetorical chaos. There is no apparent plan for much of anything. No targets, little accountability and spun numbers.

There is certainly no consistent narrative from the Morrison Government about any of it. One minute it’s the Prison Island and the next open slather. As usual, the political economy has descended into a raucous scab grab with no clear strategy for anything.

The only area that is going well, very well indeed, is the usual one:

  • Private contractors have cleaned up $156m to jab arms.
  • $10bn has been farmed out to private parasites so far.
  • There are reports of private contractors poaching public nurses to do the rollout, leaving the public rollout short.

Crikey wraps it:

Details of the contracts have remained highly secretive. The contracts have not been listed on AusTender and requests for details, made in Parliament and by Inq, have been ignored.

The four contractors are no strangers to political donations: Sonic Healthcare gave $533,500 to the Liberal Party between 2011 and 2017 (and $55,000 to Labor during the same period), making it the fourth-biggest donor from the health industry ahead of the 2016 election.

HCA is owned by private equity firm Crescent Capital which has contributed $208,250 the Liberals, Labor and the Nationals since 2016-17. And it has been linked to former Labor senator Sam Dastyari.

Aspen Medical was officially opened in 2004 by then-health minister Tony Abbott and has been awarded large controversial government contracts. One of its founding board members was a former Liberal federal health minister, Michael Wooldridge, and its founder, Andrew Walker, who has since left the company, has been accused of hiding $15 million in shares. It donated $54,000 to the Liberal Party between 2013 and 2015, and $29,800 to Labor between 2013 and 2020.

International SOS donated $21,000 to Labor and $14,400 to the Liberals between 2011 and 2017.

It’s the usual corrupt mess leaving us well behind developed countries:

In your face, North Macedonia!

Houses and Holes
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  1. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Let’s not forget children cannot be vaccinated, and can spread the virus. That’s 20% of the population.

    Thanks for collating all that DLS.

  2. Moderna might be a choice later too.
    Of course I’ll delay, getting more choices later and doing my bit to hold up the border fortress.

  3. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    Friends wife had to be rushed to hospital after the Pfizer jab with stroke like symptoms but has since recovered, apparently 2 in 5000 have this reaction

    • Wow. Any contraindication for any medications she is taking etc? Or other morbidity? Or just random pot luck. How long after the innoculation did this occur?

      Glad she is ok!!

      Wife had Pfizer courtesy of my work y’day, it’s a farken big needle, I hope they sort that out for kids or they are going to have a lot of very, very upset kids. Wife reports this morning very, very, very sore arm – cannot lift.

      • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

        he tells me she has the same sore arm which everyone probably gets, but her blood pressure rocketed then dropped massively or vice versa like a stroke, but ok now. he’s fine no symptoms

    • Single mum 2% down

      Only need to take it three times in the first year and twice or year after that. I’m sure it’s been thoroughly trialled they wouldn’t use billions of people as guinea pigs no

  4. Actually, “prison island” plus “open slather” would be 100% consistent gold-plated Coalition DNA. John Howard it was, who taught them how to talk big borders and walk big migration. And Kevin Rudd wasn’t much different.

    • The bogans were happy they “stopped the boats” saving their jobs and conditions, oblivious to the 300k pa let in via the front door. Murdoch kept them on the ball with a suitable narrative of bs. And thats why LNP can behave in such a hypocritical and chaotic fashion, and get away with it.

  5. More ideologically driven claptrap from DLS just contributing to Vaccine Hesitancy – the AZ vaccine is very effective – and against new variants too – but you wouldn’t know this from the continually ill informed diatribe driven obsession DLS has simply because he thinks that because a former mate of the PM was with AZ it’s all corrupt.

    Its just conformation bias blindness and sensationalism writ large and to hell with the social responsibility – completely unbalanced

    Irresponsible journalism at it’s finest.

    DLS could learn a thing or two from the links below – but I seriously doubt he will

    • Agreed. The AZ jab is fine, just look at the UK.

      I got my jab today. The Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne had a hundred or so staff all kitted out and nobody to vaccinate today. Half the nurses were standing around talking to each other. I walked in and through without any waiting. The only down time was the 15mins of observation that you have following the jab.

    • 35 and I got the AZ jab. 1 month this Saturday.

      There is a false sense of security among the population. I also feel people can not make a logical choice to save them selves. I also think the government should have had more mRNA vaccines.

      • I agree more mRNA would be good – which is why it’s good news we will have Moderna later this year. But let’s not forget (which DLS does) that these are completely new technology. At the time of procurement by Oz they were relatively unproven. And remember it was quite clear we had no capability to make them and to develop it would take (optimistically) 12 months or more

        Could we have chosen different vaccines? Hindsight is 20:20 – but was it clear early last year we should have selected different jabs? I don’t think so

        Most experts at the time (as opposed to blinded ideologues like DLS) said our vaccine choices were rational. And then we got unlucky: mRNA vaccines worked out better than anyone could have foreseen, and AstraZeneca’s vaccine ran into safety issues (which are tiny and blown out of all proportion and DLS is a serial offender of misrepresentation on that front).

        And we may have placed too much faith in the University of Queensland’s vaccine.

        Hindsight – which is what DLS is indulging in as well as bias blindness – is a wonderful thing. But it was quite possible that the new tech mRNA vaccines could have been a dismal failure – and then if we had placed our bets there you would hear the howls of criticism.

        Fortunately the science has come through with flying colours in this area and we actually have choices well in excess of our pressing need given the state of the pandemic here.

        DLS should shut up – instead he is contributing to Vaccine hesitancy which in my view is a crime of moral turpitude that is thoroughtly reprehensible

  6. Seems increasingly obvious that the election date has been chosen……maybe October 9th ? Expect more aimless alarming statements from people like Coatsworth et al to give Mr Morrison cover to re-invent himself and the NSW Premier as the only people who have stood between us and the virus.

    Many more strawmen will be set up by LNP actors and their media mates for Mr Morrison to knock over to prove to the 70% of Australians who favour closed borders for longer on the precautionary principle that Mr Morrison has been the only one who has had their back all this time. It is embarrassing how easy it is for Rupert and his mates to manipulate the public conversations in modern Australia.

    Meanwhile younger and younger LNP voters who want to be first in line to travel in Sydney will be getting Pfizer shots while aged care and disability workers whither on the vine.

  7. Single mum 2% down

    I don’t want some jab rushed through for emergency use that needs to be taken three times in the first year for a disease that won’t affect me, but once everyone who want their jab gets one we should open the borders with zero restrictions.

    I’ll look after myself I can assess what kind of risk I’m prepared to take I don’t need Scott Morrison telling me what good for me.

    • Well Karen, fortunately for you in this country the TGA has given the approved vaccines a thorough review – there is no emergency use here – nor do you need three shots. Impressive that you are somehow immune to Covid – how lucky you are eh?

      But if you got infected and then spread it to others some of whom may die and suffer long term effects? But of course it is only the risk YOU are prepared to take right??

      There is no compulsion to take the vaccine in this country. You sound like you are from the USA – I suggest you would be more at home there – where you can continue to be informed by Fox news and facebook as apparently is the case now 🙂

      In this country most of us like to take care of each other – which is why anyone of compassion and integrity who is not completely self centred will be lining up for a shot. Unfortunately compassion for others and integrity is not available as a booster – either through emergency use or otherwise – so you are out of luck

      • Ask the TGA whether they have a pure, unadulterated and isolated COVID-19 virus specimen in their possession. By unadulterated, not mixed with any other chemicals/solvents. The answer would be interesting…..

      • Boom Times Surely Ahead

        You need the initial vaccine then a booster a few weeks later, then immunity (if you actually have it) is thought to last 6 months (they don’t really know much about these vaccines). That’s three in the first year by my count. It’s a very powerful vaccine too it’s not something I would want to take willy nilly unless I had a compelling reason such as being forced to in order to travel internationally.

        There are going to be many people who either don’t take the jab or took the jab and don’t have immunity, so there will always be people spreading the virus. Even people who have the short lived immunity will spread the virus but they are thought to have a lower virus load.

        The dangerous people are those that have taken the jab because they will take no precautions.

        I’m happy to take basic precautions and confident I’ll firstly avoid the virus and secondly have next to no chance of dying from it.

        At the end of the day you will be responsible for the level of risk you accept.

        Unvaccinated people will not be to blame for others catching the virus.

        This is a middle and upper class generated hysteria. Many jobs and careers have been destroyed by this government’s policies.

        The vaccine isn’t going to eliminate COVID I suggest you get used to COVID deaths or stay home altogether because the vaccinated are still spreaders.

      • “In this country most of us like to take care of each other”