Senate debates

Thursday, 12 August 2021


COVID-19: Vaccination

1:56 pm

Photo of Louise PrattLouise Pratt (WA, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Manufacturing) Share this | | Hansard source

We are certainly in a national race to get vaccinated. Modelling from the Burnet Institute highlights the need, frankly, to preserve public health measures as a key line of defence in our nation, even when we achieve vaccination rates above 80 per cent. In fact, we need to get to something more like 95 per cent, and they model 95 per cent as including 95 per cent for people over 60 and vaccination rates of 70 and 80 per cent for children. It is only under these circumstances that, if COVID were to be rife in our community with open borders between states and the globe, we would be able to prevent mass death. Their modelling showed that, if, for example, COVID had let rip in Victoria with only 60 per cent of people vaccinated, then over a year we would have some 16,000 deaths. So what this shows is a need for extreme caution when we look at the Prime Minister's attempts to sell his plan for a four stage path out of lockdown to return to freedom. It cannot be achieved at the vaccination levels the Prime Minister has currently suggested. So I encourage senators and all Australians to listen clearly to the evidence, including the evidence and research from Australia's Burnet Institute.