Australia set to miss promised October vaccination deadline
Australians were initially told the country would be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October.
But a 12-week wait between AstraZeneca shots, and a sluggish start to the program, could see the finish line pushed to Christmas.
“We don’t know if we will be able to deliver two doses by the end of October,” Health Secretary Professor Brendan Murphy said.
“But with 12 weeks, that will be difficult.”
By the end of April, 5000 GPs and clinics are set to be up and running, but there’s still no date for when the next phase of jabs – for anybody over 50 – will start.
“We don’t know what the vaccine supply situation will be like,” Professor Murphy said.
NSW’s hospital hubs are flying, so the federal government has declared they will keep vaccinating all year.
But with state hubs staying open for the rest of the year, the federal government is expected to stump up more cash.
Teachers are among those who are tired of waiting.
“With children not being vaccinated under the schedule, further protection for our students and their teachers is to ensure teachers are vaccinated,” Amber Flohm from the NSW Teachers Federation said.
Australia’s leaders have committed to a steady, “safe” approach, in contrast to the US, where an industrial style program is delivering two million doses a day.