The Greens say the absence of children under 16 in the latest vaccine rollout plans shifts baselines and according to recent studies risks thousands of deaths.
Greens Leader Adam Bandt, pressed the Prime Minister in question time today as to why he is not including children in his vaccination target.
Leaving children out of the measured cohort effectively changes the baseline, and if that means we’re targeting closer to 65% of the population, rather than 80%, a study by the Grattan Institute suggests that would likely mean thousands of deaths.
Today the Greens in the Senate will proceed with an Order for Production of Documents to make public the full Doherty data set which underpins the recommendations announced yesterday.
Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:
“The government’s vaccination targets do not include children, which means the 80% target is, in reality, closer to 65%.
“According to Grattan Institute modelling, such a low target could result in many, many thousands of deaths if restrictions are lifted.
“Given this risk and given the growing prevalence of infection in children, including in schools right now, the Prime Minister must explain why he is not including 12 to 16 year olds in his vaccination plan.
“The rolling failure that is the vaccine rollout has suffered from lack of supply and problems with distribution. Any reset of the plan must ensure the vaccine gets to everyone who needs it.”
Quotes attributable to Australian Greens Health Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert:
“Extending vaccinations for all adults under 40 years offers the greatest potential to reduce transmission.
“But as we have seen with the initial over-60’s roll out, if the Federal government doesn’t have the supply and the distribution set up, targets will be missed.
“We urgently need a strategic and targeted communications strategy to boost confidence in the vaccine rollout and reach vaccine hesitant demographics.”