Business leaders want firm vaccine targets

Business leaders are urging federal, state and territory leaders to set firm vaccination targets to reopen Australia.

The business community has welcomed a four-step plan agreed to by national cabinet to end lockdowns and border restrictions.

But they are concerned key details are still missing, with no firm dates for reopening or clear thresholds for vaccination rates.

Scientific modelling is underway to determine the vaccine thresholds.

Business leaders want to see realistic and achievable vaccine targets to give people hope after 18 long months of pandemic pain.

There is some concern political leaders have been extremely cautious and risk averse.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is hopeful the vaccine targets will spell the end to lockdowns and business restrictions.

He wants Australia to get to the stage where coronavirus is treated like other infectious diseases.

“We have to create a society where we live with the virus like we do with the flu on measles and mumps, we don’t want them but we don’t close down the economy because of them,” Mr Joyce told Network Seven.

“That’s precisely what we’re doing and I think the states are now coming on board with that idea. That set a nation up in a much stronger place.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has identified an 80 per cent vaccination rate to reopen international borders.

But long before that happens, Liberal MP Tim Wilson has suggested a more modest target to clear the first hurdle towards normality.

“Frankly, if we’re going to move past the first stage, it’s going to be somewhere around 60 per cent,” he told Sky News.

Meanwhile, hundreds of GP clinics will start giving the Pfizer jab to their patients this week.

About 500 clinics across the country will offer the vaccine to people aged between 40 and 59.

A further 800 GPs are expected to come on board during July and August as the national vaccine program ramps up.

Vaccine supply has been the biggest issue for the rollout, with tens of million of Pfizer doses set to arrive in Australia over the next six months.

In anticipation of the ramp up, the federal government is determined to get as many GP clinics and state-run vaccination centres as possible geared up and ready to go.

Ian Yates, a lead advocate for senior Australians, is frustrated at the low vaccination rates among aged care workers.

He wants the Commonwealth government to ensure Pfizer vaccines are made available to all employees.

The glaring issue has come back into sharp focus after an outbreak at a Sydney aged care facility was sparked by two unvaccinated workers.

“The rollout has been too slow and it needs to be sped up as the greatest priority,” Mr Yates told the Nine Network. 

“We know that aged care residents are vulnerable people in a vulnerable situation and the vast majority, three quarters of the people who have died in Australia from COVID are residents.”

National cabinet has agreed to mandatory vaccinations for aged care workers, with all staff expected to receive their first jab by mid-September.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.