Wednesday, 11 August 2021
Matters of Public Importance
Before the interruption I was talking about the recent approval of the Moderna vaccine in Australia; in particular, the fact that 140 million doses have been administered in the United States alone. That is quite a massive evidence base and gives us, Australians, a lot of certainty that this is a vaccine that is well worth considering, along with Pfizer and AstraZeneca. In fact, as I stated, evidence so far shows that it remains some 93 per cent effective six months after the second dose and is 100 per cent effective at preventing death caused by COVID-19. I would urge all those who are weighing up the benefits of vaccination to consider that statistic when making their decision. I would obviously urge everyone, particularly in my home state of Western Australia, to look at the vaccines that are available, talk to their doctors if they have any level of uncertainty, talk to other medical professionals and get vaccinated. All the vaccines are of very high quality and all offer very good protection, and I would certainly urge people, if they can get into a vaccination centre, to do so for Pfizer and AstraZeneca. As of next month, Moderna will also become part of the suite of tools available and the choices that people have.
As I stated earlier, we continue to take a very methodical, science based approach. That has been seen in our vaccination rollout. We have listened to the health advice. When the health advice changed, as I said, it did cause some issues with the vaccination rollout, particularly with AstraZeneca, but we listened to the health advice and we responded accordingly. We continue to listen to the health advice and are taking a science based approach by developing the national plan. The Doherty institute has obviously done much work on that. The plan was developed in line with that work conducted by the Doherty institute. It sets out very clearly the four-phase response to the pandemic, beginning with the pre-vaccination phase and ending with the post-vaccination phase.
Australians can see that we are in phase A and we continue to suppress the virus for the purpose of minimising community transmissions while we vaccinate. Once we've reached 70 per cent of vaccinations in the eligible 16 years of age or older population, we move to phase B. In phase B, the vaccination transition phase, we seek to maintain the high vaccination rate and minimise serious illness and hospitalisation. Again, I point out that the two vaccines, and the third vaccine that is about to come on stream, all offer very good protection against this virus. I urge all my fellow citizens to be vaccinated. I have had my first dose; I get my second dose next week. I urge everyone to register for their vaccination as soon as they possibly can.