Andrew Dickens: Australia and New Zealand's vaccine rollout leaves a lot to be desired


Manage episode 296119031 series 2098448
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Here we are with lockdown's popping up across Australasia.
The Delta variant is causing some havoc amongst two nations universally praised for their handling of Covid over the past 16 months. Two nations who on the whole went hard and early and reaped the harvest of return.
Much to the globe's jealousy, we opened one of the first and most successful travel bubbles. We've been smug about our full stadiums and enjoying concerts and the ability to keep a large part of our domestic economies functioning.
But all that sways in the balance today.
And one of the reasons our two nations are here is because we lag much of our comparable countries of the world in vaccinations.
Much has been made that we are last of 122 OECD nations in the vaccination table, and that’s true, but the Prime Minister is also right when saying that table is based on the number of first shots given.
On fully vaccinated figures, we do a little better. As of this morning just 7.8 per cent of New Zealand has had two shots. The global average is 10.8 per cent. Australia is way worse than us on that metric at 4.7 per cent there.
It's irritating to look at the vaccination tables. England is at 48 per cent, the States at 46 per cent. It's galling to see Sweden who launched into a failed herd immunity campaign sitting there with 26 per cent of their population fully vaccinated.
Even Brazil, a country with far inferior infrastructure and a leader who actively doubts Covid, is better than us at 10.5 per cent.
The countries that failed spectacularly a year ago are beating us now.
How did we fell from first in line to last in the OECD?
When we ask our government, they say don’t worry, it’s all good. We're ahead of the schedule but that's a pointless answer. We're ahead of a schedule that's behind everyone else's.
Ask many and they'll just say our government is useless. But why is Australia in the same boat, a boat that's leaking more than ours.
It's a question I've grappled with.
One theory is that since we've not had crisis level infections then vaccines have been provided to those counties that do. Australia and New Zealand are at the end of the supply chain. The drug companies are the quarter masters deciding our rations.
Steve Price this morning said one of the causes of the vaccination delays was a cancellation of a vaccine shipment. We order it, we pay for it, it does not arrive.
If this is the case, and I've spoken to people in the drug companies who say it is, then the real failure of both Australia and New Zealand's government is protesting against it. But perhaps they can’t as this will cause more delays.
It seems cruel that two of the only countries who actually followed the World Health Organisations advice are to be punished for that success. Particularly when our relatively small populations means the impact on vaccination supply globally would be negligible.