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Australia ‘I'm sorry': Former cabinet minister apologises for sluggish vaccine rollout

07:37  22 july  2021
07:37  22 july  2021 Source:   smh.com.au

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to apologise for the rollout yesterday, saying delays were regrettable. More than a million vaccine doses were administered in the past week. Darren Chester says he's sorry for the delays, but Australia has been a "victim of its own success" in suppressing the virus. " I ' m sorry it's taken longer than people expected, and I ' m sorry that some people have lost confidence in our government and our world-class health system as a result," the post said. Despite the apology , Mr Chester blamed media reporting on adverse reactions to the AstraZeneca vaccine on its

Australia prime minister Scott Morrison has said sorry for the sluggish rollout of the country’s vaccination program. ‘ I ’ m sorry that we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year,’ he said. ‘But what’s more important is that we’re totally focused on ensuring that we’ve been turning this around.’ The apology comes after he refused to say sorry when pressed by a radio host on Wednesday.

Chester said if it helped people to hear it, then he was “sorry” the rollout had taken longer than expected. © Getty Chester said if it helped people to hear it, then he was “sorry” the rollout had taken longer than expected.

Dumped cabinet minister Darren Chester has apologised for the federal government's role in the nation's sluggish coronavirus vaccine rollout but believes the media must share some blame, saying sensationalist reporting has fuelled levels of hesitancy.

The Nationals MP, who was sacked from the front bench following Barnaby Joyce's return as Deputy Prime Minister last month, said on Thursday he was sorry the rollout had experienced so many delays and difficulties.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison faced several grillings on breakfast radio on Wednesday over the vaccination program, admitting to "regrettable" delays and revealing he had repeatedly asked the nation's peak medical experts to review their advice on the AstraZeneca vaccine in order to accelerate the rollout.

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Victorian health minister Martin Foley has criticised prime minister Scott Morrison’s ‘constant appeal’ to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (Atagi) to change its advice relating to AstraZeneca. ‘ I thought it was an unnecessary shot at professionals doing their job,’ Foley said.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison says the Covid vaccine rollout has had ‘problems’ but refused to apologise to Kiis FM host Jase Hawkins. Composite: Joel Carrett/Getty/AAP. As part of a blitz of radio stations in Adelaide and Melbourne on Wednesday, the prime minister was challenged by the hosts of Kiis FM to apologise for the “nightmare” of the vaccine rollout . “Can you honestly say to me that the government has taken accountability?” Kiis host Jason Hawkins asked.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also refused to apologise for the rollout in a heated clash on breakfast television on Thursday with Nine's Today presenter Karl Stefanovic.

"We accept responsibility, that's even more important because what is key here is what takes us forward," Mr Frydenberg said in response to the host's querying whether he was prepared to say sorry.

As of Wednesday, there have been 10.47 million doses administered nationwide. About 29 per cent of the population has received one dose and 11.6 per cent two doses.

https://www.facebook.com/darrenchestermp/posts/311716187303785

Mr Chester said if it helped people to hear it, then he was "sorry" the rollout had taken longer than expected.

"And I'm sorry that some people have lost confidence in our government and our world-class health system as a result," he wrote on social media.

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Australian prime minister Scott Morrison says the Covid vaccine rollout has had ‘problems’ but refused to apologise to Kiis FM host Jase Hawkins. Composite: Joel Carrett/Getty/AAP. As part of a blitz of radio stations in Adelaide and Melbourne on Wednesday, the prime minister was challenged by the hosts of Kiis FM to apologise for the “nightmare” of the vaccine rollout . “Can you honestly say to me that the government has taken accountability?” Kiis host Jason Hawkins asked.

The Australian prime minister , Scott Morrison, has refused to apologise for his government’s handling of the coronavirus vaccine rollout , amid testy exchanges during a radio interview as more than 13 million Australians – or half of the population – awoke in lockdown conditions. The host, Jason Hawkins, said: “ I ’ m not trying to have a go, I think it is just frustration, we are in lockdown. Can you just say ‘ sorry Jase’? It will make me feel so much better and then I feel like I can move on.” Later, that frustration was not helped by a request that only vaccinated reporters attend the prime minister ’s

"I was a member of federal cabinet when decisions were made to pre-order vaccines and develop a capacity to manufacture in Australia and I supported those decisions. Just as I supported decisions which have saved thousands of Australian lives by protecting us from the exponential growth in cases that other developed nations have experienced."

The former veterans' affairs minister said would not "point the finger and blame anyone for the delays" but there were some factors the media had chosen to ignore.

"For months, the mainstream media added to vaccine hesitancy by heavily reporting the tiny number of adverse reactions and now criticise the government because AstraZeneca has a poorer reputation than Pfizer," he said.

"Some people were reluctant to get vaccinated when there were no cases for months but the recent outbreaks have certainly increased demand."

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The sluggish vaccine rollout is testing it. “Look, I ’ m not happy with where we are,” Baker said last week after touring a mass vaccination site at Fenway Park. “But one of the best things a good manager does is recognizes and understands that they have a problem and then busts their butt to figure out how to fix it.” He’s also defended some choices that may have initially slowed early distribution of doses, such as prioritizing some marginalized and hard-to-reach groups for shots over others — a decision, he said, “I do not apologize for .”

New York’s slow-footed COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been a mismanaged mess, critics said Friday, with recent data showing that even Florida has doled out shots at a faster clip than the Empire State. New York had administered the shots at a rate of 723 per 100,000 residents, about 14 percent off Florida’s pace. Larry Schwartz, a former top aide to Cuomo now handling the state’s vaccine program, said Friday that 266,000 of New York’s 630,000 doses have now been administered, about 42 percent.

He said the decision by health authorities not to recommend AstraZeneca for people under 60 was not consistent with other nations and would be different if Australia had huge coronavirus case numbers.

"In a bizarre way, we are victims of our own success in suppressing the virus. And in relation to demanding extra Pfizer supplies, it's a bit hard to make the case for a rich nation with very few cases to take limited supplies from developing nations with thousands of daily deaths," he said.

Mr Chester, who represents the seat of Gippsland in eastern Victoria, said governments at all levels had generally made good decisions.

"I know it's frustrating and the uncertainty around lockdowns is stressful and costly for local businesses. Please try to stay positive and optimistic - we've proven our resilience many times before and we will get through these challenging times as a region."

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said Mr Morrison was channelling singer Elton John because "sorry seems to be hardest word".

"I think he would have been better off saying sorry. And everyone has made mistakes. No one's perfect," Mr Albanese told Melbourne's KIIS 101.1 FM with Jase and PJ.

"The problem is, you know, he said so many times that it's not a race. And the truth is it is a race ... he tried to say that was about the approval of the drugs. And that's not true either. That's not true."

Children as young as 12 could be vaccinated in Australia .
Australia's drug regulator, the TGA, is currently assessing an application from Pfizer to have its jab approved in the country for that age group. The vaccine has already been approved for children over 12 in countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, Japan, France and Italy. © Provided by Daily Mail ( Trials for children under 12 are ongoing to determine safety and dosage, with results due in a few months and a decision in the US expected in early 2022. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said vaccinating teenagers was crucial to securing freedom.

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This is interesting!