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Australian Population Not Expected To Be Fully Vaccinated Until End Of Next Year, Says Expert

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Australian Population Not Expected To Be Fully Vaccinated Until End Of Next Year, Says Expert

The Australian government's coronavirus vaccine rollout has been mocked, ridiculed, criticised and picked apart.

But as it stands, we could be waiting up until the end of next year until we receive our jabs.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has already walked back on a target to get the Australian population vaccinated by the end of this year and refused to give a new target.

A leading expert believes it will be a long time before we all get the jab.

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University of NSW epidemiologist Professor Mary-Louise McLaws told the Sydney Morning Herald: "I don't think we will vaccinate our population until the end of next year."

We could be looking at a fully vaccinated country by May or June 2022 if more doses of the vaccine are shipped out to Australia by September.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The Australian government has ordered 40 million more doses from Pfizer, however there's no guarantee or confirmation when they'll arrive.

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University of NSW Immunologist John Dwyer also told the SMH: "We need to settle in for the long haul because I don't think we will be getting significant amounts of Pfizer vaccine until next year." Hate this for us.

The Pfizer injection has become one of the most popular brands of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout and there are billions of doses required to get the world vaccinated.

Mr Dwyer reckons we shouldn't get excited about the idea of overseas travel or life returning to pre-Covid normal for a while.

"We are not going to be able to comfortably have a situation where overseas students coming back to Australia can be anything like pre-Covid numbers for at least a couple of years," he said.

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"We are not going to be able to have any relief from our quarantine program for 18 months at least."

Ever since the government put an advisory on the AstraZeneca vaccine for Aussies under 50 (which has now been upgraded to not being recommended), the country has been largely reliant on the Pfizer vaccine.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

It's caused targets to be blown out and the Prime Minister made this admission late last week.

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"The government has also not set, nor has any plans to set any new targets for completing first doses," he said in a statement.

"While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved."

The government is hoping states and territories will be able to soon set up mass vaccination centres so that they can drastically increase their output, however it's a moot point when we can't be certain when the millions of promised doses will arrive.

But you also shouldn't get excited about travel once everyone is fully vaccinated.

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Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt warned international borders was a completely different kettle of fish.

"Vaccination alone is no guarantee that you can open up," Mr Hunt said. "If the whole country were vaccinated, you couldn't just open the borders.

"We still have to look at a series of different factors: transmission, longevity [of vaccine protection] and the global impact - and those are factors which the world is learning about."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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