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Epidemiologist raises concerns as Australia falls well short of COVID-19 vaccination target

Neil Mitchell
Article image for Epidemiologist raises concerns as Australia falls well short of COVID-19 vaccination target

Victoria has fallen well short of its COVID-19 vaccination target for the end of March.

In January, Prime Minister Scott Morrison set a target of four million doses administered, but as of yesterday, only 597,000 has been given.

Professor of epidemiology at the University of NSW, Marylouise McLaws, says it’s a problem, because positive COVID-19 cases in returned travellers are on the rise.

While Victoria hasn’t experienced the surge, due to the temporary suspension of the state’s hotel quarantine program, the number of positive arrivals in other states has surged.

“In Queensland, their number of positives … from late February to the beginning of March it increased four-fold, and then it increased seven-fold, and 10-fold to the end of this month,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“They are receiving more positive travellers from overseas because overseas is going into its third wave.”

Professor McLaws says Australia’s problem appears to be the vaccine rollout process, not vaccine supply.

“We have what looks to me like plenty of supply,” she said.

“Most other countries are using mass vaccination facilities.

“Giving a little bit here and there to each hospital is probably part of the problem.”

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Neil Mitchell
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