Missed it by that much: Australia falls 3.4m doses short of 4m vaccination target by end of March

Almost 600,000 doses of Covid vaccine have been administered in Australia but Scott Morrison had wanted 4m shots delivered by now

Australia has administered nearly 600,000 doses of the Covid vaccine, which is 3.4m shots short of a 4m dose target set by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, for the end of March.

The current figure is also 1m doses short of what’s needed to meet the government’s revised target of 4m doses administered by the end of April.

Australia’s chief health officer, Profesor Paul Kelly, said on Tuesday there had been 597,000 doses of either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine administered to date. That’s 15% of Morrison’s original target.

The prime minister in January said that he was aiming for 4 un millón de personas to have received their first of two doses by the end of March.

But the country has fallen well short of that target due to international supply issues, natural disasters including the New South Wales floods, errors and booking issues.

General practitioners told Guardian Australia on the weekend they were beating their heads “against a wall” due to issues with the rollout’s implementation.

En marzo, the federal government amended its goal to 4m doses by the end of April – and also walked away from another pledge that every Australian would be fully vaccinated by October.

Kelly said Monday was a record day for vaccinations – with “55,597 vaccines put into arms right around Australia” in 24 horas. sin embargo, to reach the revised end-of-April target, the health department would still need to administer 3.4m doses in four weeks – the equivalent of 121,400 shots a day.

Other countries, like the Covid-hit United States and United Kingdom, have administered roughly eight doses per 100 gente, compared to Australia’s current two doses per 100 gente.

Prof Catherine Bennett, the chair of epidemiology at Deakin University, says Australia’s vaccine rollout could pick up and grow “exponentially” despite the slow start.

Bennett said that the first phase focusing on frontline workers and aged care residents was “not typical”.

“That is not what the rest of the rollout is going to look like,” she told Guardian Australia.

“If phase 1a took longer than expected, and the government itself said the aged care rollout took longer than expected, it doesn’t mean we necessarily have to assume the same from here on in.

“Now that we have got that local production building up to hopefully a million a week … and set up the state vaccination centres, I think we are going to see a more rapid escalation in uptake. Entonces 597,000 ahora, we might double that in a week. The week after that, it could be even better.”

Bennett said any further delays to the rollout would inevitably increase the likelihood of further lockdowns – and also prevent other activities such as overseas travel.

“The general healthcare workers are in the phase 1b. It is really frustrating that this hospital [in Brisbane] didn’t have enough vaccines, even one shot for those people who could manage Covid-positive patients," ella dijo.

“The frontline was the critical one, and getting at least the first jab out was a really important part of that.”

The epidemiologist said the vaccine rollout was a “partnership between the commonwealth and the states” and “every state has a different population distribution and infrastructure”.

“Some states hit their targets, others didn’t. It is hard to to look at this averaged over the country.”

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