The New York Times has called out Australia – once the envy of the world when it came to tackling the coronavirus pandemic – for completely and utterly failing when it comes to getting people vaccinated. How the turntables.
In its news podcast The Daily, science journalist Carl Zimmer perfectly summed up how Australia suddenly went from being pretty much COVID-free to having the current spate of lockdowns we’ve seen around the nation.
He attributed recent clusters to “Delta-driven surges” unfolding in largely-unvaccinated countries like Bangladesh, Malaysia, Russia and, well, Australia. The thing is, the pandemic had always been tough in those countries, as it had been pretty much everywhere. We were the exception… until now.
“It’s interesting that a country like Australia is relatively wealthy but does not have a great vaccine supply,” Zimmer said on The Daily.
Very interesting/depressing to hear Australia used as the main case study in today’s ep of The Daily as a country that absolutely fucked its vaccine rollout and is now vulnerable to more deaths and lockdowns. But tHaNk GoD wE aReNt ThE ReSt oF ThE wOrLd
— Osman Faruqi (@oz_f) July 6, 2021
“One of the reasons is that they thought they had this covered. They thought their very strict, rigorous public health measures – contract tracing, testing, very, very strict limits on travel – it was working.
“They had incredibly low rates, life was normal in Australia. So they thought, ‘We can take our time with vaccination because we’ve got this big wall keeping the virus out,’ but then the virus came over the wall and they didn’t have their vaccines ready.”
Remember when the government repeatedly said it’s not a race? Well it turns out that was complete bullshit. Australia has well and truly lost the race to get vaccinated against the Delta variant, and now we’re paying the price.
In a sobering ep of The Daily today:
“In Australia they thought they had this covered. They thought they could take their time with vaccination because they have this big wall keeping the virus out. But then the virus came over the wall & they didn’t have their vaccines ready.”
— Ange McCormack (@_angemccormack) July 6, 2021
As of Wednesday, just 7.8% percent of Aussies have been fully vaccinated, which puts us dead last out of 38 OECD countries, and trailing behind may others.
Now we’re in a situation where the government’s shitty communication has convinced heaps of people they don’t want the vaccines available to them, while those who do want it can’t seem to get it.
You can triple-check to see if you’re eligible to get vaccinated here. What’s clear is that when Health Minister Greg Hunt last year pledged to “underpromise and overdeliver” with the incoming vaccine rollout, it was an empty promise on both fronts.