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Less than 2 per cent: The real numbers of the vaccine rollout

By TBS Newsbot

Yesterday, Canberra again promised that we’ll be vaccinated by Christmas. Yet, three months into the rollout and only 1.9% of NSW has had both doses.

“I am not going to be talking about numbers today,” Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly told Australia’s Radio National on April 12. This echoed suggestions from the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who had adopted the position that Australia best forget meeting any clear vaccination targets.

Speaking through The Sydney Morning Herald, the government yesterday spoke of vaccination targets, claiming that we’ll all be vaccinated by Christmas. Again. Or not. Gallingly, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) put it on us, claiming that everyone who wants to be vaccinated probably will.

So, let’s talk about numbers. Three months into the vaccine rollout (which is a responsibility of the Federal government, let’s not forget), and some truth has wriggled out from underneath the permafrost of bullshit, as the WA government has inadvertently released the figures we weren’t meant to see, illuminating the expanse of their failure.

In New South Wales, 1.9% of the population has been fully vaccinated. In Victoria (which had numerous lockdowns) they’ve managed to inoculate a paltry 1.6%.



The above table represents those who have had two doses. An October deadline had been proposed for all Australians wishing to be vaccinated to receive at least one dose. Prior to that, the government had dreamily suggested a target of 4 million vaccinated Australian adults, with all remaining adults being finished by October.

As The Big Smoke reported, “Pre-rollout, Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested the rollout capacity will start at around 80,000 doses per week and increase from there. That’s 16,000 a day (over five-day weeks), well short of the required 200,000 a day. The planned peak capacity hasn’t been announced, but even back-of-the-beer-mat calculation would suggest a minimum of 167,000 vaccines per day to give two doses each to 20 million Australians in the eight months between March and October 2021. The longer it takes to reach such capacity, the higher that daily number will get — or we will not reach the target vaccination percentage this year.”

On April 8, Morrison emphasised, “uncertainties” and “many, many variables” that doomed any coherent planning. “This is not a certain world and we’re not on our own. The whole world is dealing with the same uncertainty.”

Is it though? Over in New Zealand, they’ve managed to give both doses to 9% of their entire population. What’s more, they’re actually exceeding their vaccine targets.




Conversely, in April the Prime Minister announced that Australia had secured a further 20 million Pfizer vaccine doses, in addition to current orders for 20 million. He tried to distract critics by noting that 170 million doses of vaccines in total, spanning deals with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax and COVAX, had been secured. In case you’ve blocked it out of your memory, these are the vaccines we’ve paid for, but have yet to arrive.

Last week, the program took another shot, as it became known that the commonwealth health department managed to vaccinate half of Australia’s aged and disability care residents it said it would. The kicker is that they were first in line, and purportedly, would be entirely vaccinated after the first six weeks.

As journalist Christopher Knaus noted, “A key area of responsibility for the federal government is vaccinating aged care staff and residents who are both in the highest priority group for vaccinations – phase 1a. Initially, the government said it had planned to complete phase 1a within roughly six weeks of the program’s commencement on 22 February. That included vaccinating 190,000 aged and disability care residents and 318,000 aged care and disability staff.”

With a week to go before the end of the original deadline, they managed to vaccinate 99,000 of the nation’s most at-risk citizens. A Senate inquiry noted that deaths in aged care homes “account for 74.6% of all deaths from Covid-19 in Australia”.

Back in March, the Medical Board of Australia and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Agency (AHPRA) have issued a joint directive, warning members they risk disciplinary action for providing ‘false or deceptive’ advice or information that could undermine the national vaccination program.

The directive states: “Any promotion of anti-vaccination statements or health advice which contradicts the best available scientific evidence or seeks to actively undermine the national immunisation campaign (including via social media) is not supported by National Boards and may be in breach of the codes of conduct and subject to investigation and possible regulatory action.”

This is fair enough, you don’t need medical professionals undermining the national vaccine rollout, because the repeated failures of the program already does the heavy lifting.

As Dr Sarah Russell put it, “There have been three areas of major failures during the Covid-19 pandemic: hotel quarantine, aged care, and the vaccination rollout. These are all areas of Commonwealth responsibility.

“Experts warned the federal government that a pandemic with potentially devastating consequences was coming. CSIRO, for example, alerted the government of the likelihood of a pandemic due to the growth in the global population and international travel. They also warned about the dangers inherent in the incursion of human settlements into wildlife habitats, the live animal trade, and modern livestock management practices. Scott Morrison not only failed to coordinate a national approach to quarantine and aged care but he and his colleagues sat on the sidelines providing unhelpful commentary. Rather than show leadership, Federal Ministers chose to politicise the pandemic.”

This article was originally published on The Big Smoke.

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  1. Terence Mills

    Don’t forget that the second jab of Astra Zeneca has a twelve week wait after the first.

    I had the AZ jab as soon as it became available but I won’t be due for the second until mid June as is the case with many others.

    You can expect the numbers to increase significantly as we get into June and July.

  2. Ken

    This proves this LNP government are not able to do anything properly.

  3. Phil Pryor

    This is one area of so many in which this gutless, brainless, heartless, talentless, deficient, boasting, bullshitting, vain, ridiculous, crooked, bent, devious government is absoeffinguseless. Led by a very hollow, vacuuminous, blackholed emptiness, no wucking fonder, and, it will get worse until it may get better when and if they go. So, GO!

  4. Peter F

    A TOTAL disgrace. If they had been able to convince the states to open up for business we would be in a real mess.

  5. New England Cocky

    Scummo could not organise a sh#t in a long drop toilet without falling in …..

  6. Jon Chesterson


    One of many other causes behind the low roll out, which the government and mainstream media are blaming on so called ‘vaccine hesitancy’ – look no further than the liberals and federal government policy of private contracts for vaccine roll out, by-passing the state public health systems, which has been a disaster. This is how we care for our older, disability and vulnerable populations.
    ‘Billions of dollars are being spent on contracts often given to Liberal Party donors, but taxpayers aren’t allowed to know the details’.

    ‘Despite the eye-watering amounts, the rollout isn’t going well. We expected to have 20-25 million COVID vaccines onshore by now, but instead have just 9 million. Only 3 million have made it into arms and less than 300,000 of those into those most at risk: residents in disability and aged care’.

    ‘The government has spent big on corporate Australia during the pandemic, with more than $10 billion awarded in pandemic-related contracts last year’.

    ‘Details of the contracts remain shrouded in secrecy — the government has refused to make tender details public. Those on the ground have questioned the cost and efficacy of bringing in private contractors following confusion, delays and low vaccination rates’.

    “The government hired four health providers — Aspen Medical, Healthcare Australia (HCA), International SOS and Sonic Clinical Services — to vaccinate aged and disability care residents and supplement state-based workforces.
    But there have been myriad problems. Aged care workers have been turned away from their crucial second dose because their initial dose wasn’t recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register. There have been no restrictions on who can register online to receive a dose at Sydney’s mass vaccination hub, causing confusion. A nurse contracted by Aspen Medical gave a Tasmanian aged care resident the vaccine without permission from his legal guardian. One doctor contracted by HCA didn’t complete the required vaccine online training course and administered incorrect doses to two elderly patients. Poor planning led HCA to cancel vaccine deliveries, and thousands of doses have been thrown away after problems with temperature-controlled storage’.

    ‘Director of the public service research group at University of New South Wales Helen Dickinson tells Inq using private contractors to deliver key services isn’t inherently a bad thing’. This is the same university and department that has a leading public health researcher and so called social scientist blaming older Australians for vaccine hesitancy describing them as having ‘Pfizer envy’, not based on any social science research we would ever know about.

    ‘It’s been a disaster’.

    Private contractors get $156m to vaccinate Australia’s most at-risk. Why can’t we know what they’re doing?

  7. Florence Howarth

    Just had my shot after a months wait. It appears it is only this week the supply increasing. Surgery will be able to provide more vaccinations.

  8. skip

    Covid-19 vaccinations are emergency, investigative use only. Many are unaware that vaccination with mRNA new technology drugs (Moderna, Pfizer), and adenovirus (Johnson & Johnson) places them in a on-going medical trial. Additional safety investigations are spiraling off from Covid-19 vaccination side effects post Covid-19 vaccination (blood clots & myocarditis for example) Here is the summary of limited use permissions from each FDA letter:

    Johnson & Johnson, Janssen:

    “The Janssen COVID‑19 Vaccine is for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 18 years of age and older. The vaccine contains a recombinant, replication-incompetent human adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector, encoding the SARS-CoV-2 viral spike (S) glycoprotein, stabilized in its pre-fusion form. It is an investigational vaccine not licensed for any indication” Direct quote from emergency approval letter issued on 2/27/2021


    Moderna COVID‑19 Vaccine is for use for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 18 years of age and older. The vaccine contains a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 formulated in lipid particles. It is an investigational vaccine not licensed for any indication (direct quote from FDA permissions letter)


    “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID‑19 Vaccine is for use for active immunization to prevent COVID-19 caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine contains a nucleoside-modified messenger RNA (modRNA) encoding the viral spike (S) glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 formulated in lipid particles. It is an investigational vaccine not licensed for any indication” Original letter HERE.

  9. totaram

    Skip: Nice bullshit. I “skipped”! Ha, ha!

  10. DrakeN

    @ skip,

    Do you have any actual understanding of fundamental biology?
    Of course these vaccinations are on-going medical trials – the very nature of the virus and its ability to continue mutating imposes a large trial-and-error requirement on the medical researchers as well as on the relevant community authorities attempting to control it.
    Asking for certainty in a volatile situation such as this is naive in the extreme.

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