The problem with the plan to relax restrictions at 70 per cent and 80 per cent vaccination rates is it’s based on modelling that’s now obsolete.
One study suggests getting vaccinated halves the risk of developing long COVID.
An 80% adult vaccination rate corresponds to 64% of the overall population, leaving plenty of people susceptible to the virus if restrictions ease too quickly.
The second wave of COVID-19 in New South Wales highlights concerns for the unvaccinated and those with multiple risk factors - particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
It’s simply not “safe” for many Australians to come out of Scott Morrison’s proverbial cave until vaccination rates increase.
Australia plans to begin relaxing restrictions once 70% of over-16s are fully vaccinated. But as Israel shows us, it’s likely not enough to reach herd immunity, especially with the Delta variant.
Once we achieve herd immunity, people who are not vaccinated benefit indirectly from the immunity of those around them. But it’s not easy to say exactly when we’ll reach this threshold for COVID-19.
If Australians won’t take the AstraZeneca vaccine, we must donate it to save lives elsewhere, especially while we queue-jump for more Pfizer doses.
To paraphrase a legendary golfing saying, the harder you work, the luckier you get.
NSW's successful test and trace strategy controlled the Crossroads Hotel outbreak a year ago without needing a stringent lockdown. But this has not worked as well against Delta.