Have we reached critical mass with vaccinations?
According to modelling by Doherty Institute, we need to reach at least 70 percent, ideally 80 percent of the population to be vaccinated in order for the country to start managing affairs without the need to impose blanket lockdowns.
According to the Federal Department of Health, as of September 13, Shepparton has 74.4 percent having received their first dose and 43.0 percent having received their second so it will only be a matter of a few weeks before those waiting for their second dose will get to that time.
However, standing in the reception area at the vaccination centre at the McIntosh Pavillion on Thursday, the place was devoid of clients. For a facility that can handle a thousand people a day, there were three waiting in line.
In the community, there are any number of people who are reluctant to get the vaccine, many listening to wild stories on social media rather than their health professionals. What is that percentage and how can they best be encouraged to get vaccinated. Others may not have access.
What about the rest? With GV Health now advising they will accept walk-ins without an appointment, the Monday morning queue looked very promising with a long line of people who are continuing to drive the numbers down.
However, according to recent reports, many people are hesitating, with 42 percent saying they will wait while a third of 18 to 29 year-olds said they “will not get vaccinated” (11 percent) or were “not sure about getting vaccinated” (22 percent).
One aspect of the study is that politicising health messages and lack of political consistency between States and the Federal Government only worsens partisan gaps and is counterproductive to public health outcomes.
According to GV Health, the demand for Dose 1 vaccinations has been rising week on week and is only limited by the amount of Pfizer vaccines we have to administer. We have opened AstraZeneca appointments and in fact 40 percent of our vaccinations in the
GV public health unit have been AstraZeneca.
The majority of people seeking vaccination on Monday morning were lined up for the Pfizer jab while only four people stood in the AstraZeneca queue.