scott morrison afp 1014060 1627524825

Scott Morrison scraps COVID-19 vaccination deadline plan

Scott Morrison has ditched plans to announce a new deadline to vaccinate all Australians against COVID-19 by the year’s end in a stunning about-face. Scott Morrison has scrapped plans to announce a new deadline to vaccinate all Australians against COVID-19 in admission over the “uncertainties” surrounding the program by the end of the year. Despite promising greater transparency on the rollout by providing daily updates on the number of people vaccinated, the Prime Minister confirmed on Sunday they would no longer commit to any targets on when the program will be fully completed or when most Australians will have their first jab. The Morrison Government had previously raised hopes that most Australians would have their first COVID jab by the end of October, with most adults fully vaccinated in the two-jab vaccination program by the end of 2021.

“Each day, we are now updating information on the rollout of the vaccine,” the Prime Minister said in a Facebook post outlining the latest figures. “You can see that 1.16 million doses have been administered, with over 465,000 given by our GPs. Another 1,000 GPs are expected to join the rollout this week, taking the total number to over 4,000.” But while the original program included a target for Phase A and Phase B for vulnerable people and frontline workers, the Prime Minister said there would no longer be updated or provided. The Prime Minister will also not commit to a timetable on when most Australians are vaccinated, which is necessary to reopen international borders and relax hotel quarantine requirements.

“The Government has also not set, nor has any plans to set, any new targets for completing first doses,” he said. “While we would like to see these doses completed before the year’s end, it is impossible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved. These daily data reports will keep Australians informed of the progress. We will get on working together to produce, distribute, and administer the vaccines as safely and efficiently as possible. “You will also see how we compare to other countries at the same stage of their rollout. The latest data shows that Australia’s vaccination program is advancing consistently, with comparable countries such as Germany ahead of Canada, Sweden, France, NZ, South Korea, and Japan at the same stage of their rollouts.

“At the end of this past week, it’s also important to note that more than 142,000 doses have been administered to our aged care residents in more than 1,000 facilities, with over 46,000 now being second doses in over 500 facilities.” The Morrison Government’s vaccine rollout has been hit by the revised medical advice over the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not the preferred option for those under the 50s. According to some experts, this decision was made because younger Australians are less likely to die from COVID-19 if they contract it, making the rare risk of a blood clot from the vaccine a higher risk of COVID-19.

On April 8, the Prime Minister said the fallout would take some time for the Morrison Government to work through after it was hit with new health advice on Thursday night to advise anyone under 50 to consider the alternative Pfizer vaccine – if it’s available. But he implied that a timetable might be offered down the track. “In terms of what the overall implications are at this stage, it’s too early to give you that answer,” the Prime Minister said on Thursday. “I mean, this now has to be considered. The impacts assessed. And the program evaluated and recalibrated, and once we’ve done that, we’ll be in a better position to understand those implications.”

But the Facebook post today implies that the political ramifications are too significant given the uncertainties over future vaccine imports from Europe and any other updated medical advice. Trade Minister Dan Tehan said the government hoped that most Australians would be vaccinated before 2022. “That’s the aim, that’s the goal, as we’ve said, to have all Australians have a dose by the end of the year. But we have to remember that we’re dealing with a pandemic. Things can change,” he told Sky News. However, Labor accused the Prime Minister of bungling the rollout. Labor’s health spokesman Mark Butler said people needed to get vaccinated immediately.

“A range of experts in Australia were saying that best practice was to have more than four deals, five, six deals, the UK has seven deals on the table, to ensure redundancy in our system, to ensure there was a backup when something like the AstraZeneca advice arose,” Mr. Butler said. “The UK, for example, is also dealing with the fact they’re not going to be giving AstraZeneca to young people, but they’ve been able to substitute the Moderna vaccine, a highly effective state of the art MRNA vaccine, and will soon be substituting the Johnson and Johnson vaccine as well.”


I have always enjoyed writing and reading other people's blogs. I started writing a journal as a teenager and have since written numerous books and articles. My blog is a place where I can write freely about my personal interests and those of others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *