Australia Was Used As A Case Study For Terrible Vaccine Rollouts In The NYT’s ‘The Daily’

"Always wanted 'The Daily' to touch on Australian issues. Not like this."

The Daily Australia

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Australia’s paltry vaccine rollout has come under the microscope in an episode of the New York Times’ The Daily on Tuesday.

The podcast discussed a chunk of the country going into lockdown again over the Delta variant, while only six percent of the population had been doubled-jabbed at the time of recording.

“It’s interesting that a country like Australia is relatively wealthy but does not have a great vaccine supply,” Carl Zimmer, a NYT science writer and columnist said when interviewed.

“I think, in those cases like Australia, one of the reasons is that they thought they had this covered. They thought [they had] very strict, rigorous public health measures: contact tracing, testing, very, very strict limits on travel.”

Zimmer acknowledged that for a while, those things worked for us, and for the most part COVID rates were low, and life was relatively normal in comparison to other developed nations.

Because of this success, the Government thought they could vaccinate Australians at a leisurely pace because of a ‘big wall’, and our isolated position on the map, was keeping COVID at bay.

“But then the virus came over the wall and they didn’t have their vaccines ready,” he said.

The episode highlights the end of a narrative Australia upheld so well last year on the global stage, as a shining example of how to deal with the pandemic.

In March, Forbes praised us for running Hamilton in Sydney and boasting minimal community cases. The Washington Post hailed us a “pandemic success story” last November.

Even White House Medical Adviser Dr Anthony Fauci said in an online conversation with Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly that Australia was experiencing a “different galaxy” from the hundreds-of-thousands of average case numbers in the States just four months ago.

But now, Australia ranks last compared to all OECD countries for fully vaccinated populations, and experts believe the Delta variant has left a permanent wound in our ability to return to ‘normal’ until more people are jabbed.

“Prior to this, it’s been wonderful. You’re going out to dinner, you’re going to shows with thousands of people,” Professor Nancy Baxter told the BBC.

“But I’m not sure if we’re going to be able to do that again until we’re all vaccinated, because there’s too much of a risk. I just think we can’t live like COVID doesn’t exist any more.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced some long overdue steps to clean up this mess last Friday in a new four-phase plan: vaccination, boosting arrival cap numbers again, restrictions and lockdowns, before heading towards a post-pandemic world after 2022.

As of this morning, 7.6 percent of the Australian population have been fully vaccinated, according to The Guardian.