Today show host Allison Langdon has blasted Australia’s ‘proper mess’ of a vaccine rollout as she tried to get a definitive answer on the question no one can agree on.
Extraordinary bickering broke out between federal and state governments on Wednesday about whether younger Australians should be allowed to have the AstraZenaca vaccine.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said GPs who administered the jab to under-60s who signed a waiver would be given legal immunity, after an emergency national cabinet meeting on Monday night.
But Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk rejected the plan, saying there was nothing agreed with the states and urging Queenslanders to follow the earlier advice and only have the Pfizer vaccine if they are under 60.
Australia’s Covid-19 vaccine program has been heavily criticised by citizens and ministers alike after a report found the nation has recorded the slowest rollout of 38 OECD nations
Sick of the mixed messages, Langdon said the country’s leaders were betraying the Australian public in a time of crisis and demanded a clear direction for the vaccination program.
‘We have politicians and chief health officers bickering with each other, we are stuck in the middle as this is being politicised. We’re wondering what we should do,’ she said on Thursday.
With more than 12 million Australians locked down across the country due to the latest outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant, she said the only way out is ‘to get people vaccinated’.
Langdon was joined on the program by Professor Bill Bowtell, seeking direction on the constant disagreement between the federal and state governments.
‘Who should we be listening to here? Is it the GPs? Our health officers? Our politicians?’ she asked.
‘Should we be trusting young people to talk to their doctor and make an informed decision?’
Langdon was joined by Professor Bill Bowtell on the program, seeking direction on the constant disagreement between the federal and state governments
Professor Bowtell, who led Australia’s response to the 1980s AIDS crisis and was an adviser to former prime minister Paul Keating, encouraged Australians of all ages to seek any vaccine they could get their hands on.
‘We need the AstraZeneca. It is very important people go to their GPs and discuss that,’ he said.
‘It is certainly safe for use. I’ve had my first shot. Happy to have the second one. But we’ve got to get on with it now, we’re in a serious position.’
Professor Bowtell said the ‘national crisis’ was the result of the ‘leaky hotel quarantine system’ and a breakdown between the national cabinet and chief health officer committee.
‘We are facing a very serious crisis. We’ve got to get a grip. There’s got to be some order restored to the chaos that’s enveloping the technical and medical advice side of this,’ he said.
‘When Covid Delta emerged in December last year, we began a race between vaccination and mutation.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison was blamed for failing to introduce quarantine centres and for the bungled vaccination roll-out
‘We kept Australia Covid-free for six months in the hope that vaccines would be widely distributed, procured and widely distributed, and we’d be well vaccinated by now.’
Professor Bowtell said vaccinations must be the priority, pinpointing the lack of organisation from the federal government in securing supply, and said the spread of the virus through hospitals should be a huge cause for concern.
‘Very concerningly, we have cases now emerging in and around our hospital systems,’ he said.
‘This is extremely serious and action has to be taken to ensure that everybody who is in and around the hospital system is vaccinated and is following the appropriate guidelines in relation to use of proper masks.
‘N95 masks, not the surgical masks but proper PPE so that there is no chance of transmitting infectious within the hospital system.’
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