After repeatedly backflipping and repeatedly under-promising, the government is now mulling a 12-week vaccination blitz at the end of this year in order to get everyone under 50 immunised, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Speaking ahead of a national cabinet meeting on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison finally gave us some hope that we won’t have to wait until next bloody year to get our COVID jabs, saying a sped-up rollout would be better suited to young people.
“There’s a lot of work to be done, given that would be effectively, if we wished, a 12-week sprint,” he told reporters.
“To be able to do that safely and effectively… there’d need to be plenty of planning to achieve that.”
If the government is sticking with its advice to only recommend the AstraZeneca vaccination for people over 50, this plan means we’re gonna need a huge supply of alternative vaccines ASAP.
There are currently limited supplies of the Pfizer vaccine in Australia. It was the first one to arrive on our shores, but it initially went to the elderly and to frontline health workers. Now the remaining supply has bee redirected to younger people.
The government’s hoping to get another 20 million doses from October – hence the 12-week window until 2022.
Meanwhile, the Novavax vaccine is also expected to land on our shores later this year… if it eventually gets approved.
This means that for the time being, our vaccination program will heavily depend on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is also the only vaccine being manufactured locally in Australia.
Thus, Morrison’s “12-week sprint” is still just a goal that is not yet set in stone.
“That will be dependent very much on the stock of Pfizer and Novavax that we’re expecting, at this stage, contracted to be made available in the fourth quarter of this year,” he said.
Hopefully all these efforts will eventually gel together and get us out of the current mess we’re in, hey.