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Is the COVID vaccine rollout the greatest public policy failure in recent Australian history?

Carolyn Holbrook and colleagues write in The Conversation (21.7.21) about the flawed national COVID-19 vaccine rollout program, suggesting that it ranks high among recent public policy failures in Australia.

‘Is the Morrison government’s COVID vaccination rollout program one of Australia’s biggest ever public policy failures?

‘As COVID-19 infection numbers in locked-down Sydney show little sign of abating and Victoria extends its fifth lockdown, the prospect of life resuming some level of normality appears distant.’In recent weeks, we have learned more about the flaws in the federal Coalition government’s vaccination program. There’s the failure to procure sufficient vaccine and an accompanying over-reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine. The complications with rolling out the latter have exposed the shortage of supply of the Pfizer vaccine.

‘While other international leaders personally lobbied Pfizer executives for supplies, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt were inexplicably passive.

‘… Despite the chaos that has been well documented, the required levels of vaccination can still be achieved, even if belatedly. The situation is potentially capable of resolution, and possibly in time for Seattle-like “normality” to be re-established. Adequate climate action, on the other hand, still appears to be incapable of resolution under this government.’

Bungled vaccine rollout, welcome financial support – here’s what Aussies thought of Morrison’s COVID response

Deborah Lupton writes in The Conversation (12.4.22) about the Australian public’s ‘mixed’ perceptions of the Coalition government’s national COVID-19 response.

‘Before calling the election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed in a promotional video his government had done a good job of handling the COVID crisis over the past two years.

‘According to Morrison, “Things are tough” but “40,000 people are alive in Australia today because of the way we managed the pandemic, 700 thousand people still have jobs and countless numbers of businesses […] would have been destroyed.”

‘But what do Australians think of his government’s and their state leaders’ approach to COVID management? What could Morrison and other politicians have done better to control the spread of COVID and its economic impacts?

‘… As these interviews showed, Australians haven’t forgotten what has gone wrong during the pandemic.’

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