Health

Australia’s ticket to opening up, says report

The Grattan Institute has released a report detailing how Australia can end lockdowns and start to reopen its border.

Race to 80: our best shot at living with COVID highlights that Australia can safely begin to ‘live with COVID’ when 80% of the population is vaccinated, and 95% of the most vulnerable populations, including the over 70s.

The report details that the 80% threshold could be reached as early as the end of this year if a vaccine becomes available in coming months for children under 12. However, if a vaccine is not approved for children under 12, a target date of March next year would be more realistic.

According to Grattan Institute modelling, at 80% COVID would be in the community, but severe cases would be rare. Opening up too early — when 50 or 70% of the population is vaccinated — risks rampant spread of the virus and hospitals being overwhelmed.

Although the modelling shows we cannot safely reopen Australia until we get to 80% vaccinated, the Grattan Institute’s analysis finds that this can be achieved quickly.

Australia is scheduled to get more than enough vaccine supplies within months, with surveys showing only about 10% of Australians are entrenched anti-vaxxers.

The report emphasises that logistics will be crucial to accelerating the rollout and suggests that people should be able to get their jab at mass vaccination hubs, doctors, pharmacies, schools, their workplaces, and through pop-up clinics at supermarkets and sporting events.

The report also states that, once vaccine supplies are available and everyone is eligible, governments should launch campaigns aimed at hesitant and specific populations, including young people and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

According to the report, uptake could also be boosted via the federal government establishment of Vaxlotto — a national $10 million-a-week lottery that enters anyone who has had one jab, and everyone with two jabs doubles their chances.

At the state level, governments are encouraged to issue ‘vaccine passports’ for domestic air travel and entry to hospitality, sports and entertainment venues.

The report finds that, if necessary, vaccines should be made mandatory for people who work with vulnerable populations or in high-risk settings, including aged-care workers, hospital staff, disability care workers, prison workers and teachers.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Halfpoint

Australia’s ticket to opening up, says report Source link Australia’s ticket to opening up, says report

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