DIGEST

The Informer: No vaccination apology, in fact nothing to see here at all

Australian PM Scott Morrison and UK PM Boris Johnson.
Australian PM Scott Morrison and UK PM Boris Johnson.

It was a full day of COVID-related news: a slice of regional Australia waking to a lockdown, a three-figure spike in NSW's already spiky COVID-19 cases and Victoria recording its most COVID cases in months.

So it was a head-shakingly odd moment when Prime Minister Scott Morrison chose today as the day he'd publicly appeal to the nation's expert immunisation panel to change its AstraZeneca vaccine age recommendation.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the jab should be administered on people over 60 because of a link to extremely rare but serious blood clots.

The PM blamed the recommendation for causing a "big problem" that further slowed down his government's messy vaccine rollout and said he was making a "constant appeal" to ATAGI for changes.

Mr Morrison refused to apologise for the bungled vaccination program, instead saying that: "Australians just want us to get it right.

"No country has got their pandemic response 100 per cent, I think Australians understand that."

Let's add England to that discussion. After almost two years of restrictions, Monday was known as "Freedom Day" as many COVID-induced rules were lifted. Yet on that day alone, the UK recorded nearly 40,000 positive COVID tests.

That is in stark contrast to Australia's 32,000 since the pandemic first hit our shores back in January 2020.

The difference? Vaccination rates.

Nearly 70 per cent of England has had at least one jab. In Australia that figure hasn't hit 30 per cent yet.

But rest assured, nothing's been bungled and no apology is needed.

And, just one last thought today ... to the family of Australia's oldest man, Dexter Kruger.

Mr Kruger celebrated his 111th birthday in May - and the nation celebrated with his family. Today, sadly, Mr Kruger died at his western Queensland home after a brief illness.

Born on January 13, 1910, Mr Kruger lived through both world wars, numerous droughts and counted 30 prime ministers in his lifetime.

Vale Mr Kruger.

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This story No apology, in fact nothing to see here at all first appeared on The Canberra Times.