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Morrison and Hunt undermining their own vaccine rollout

Media Release
Adam Bandt 24 May 2021

Greens Leader Adam Bandt says the Prime Minister must instruct his Health Minister to stop giving mixed messages on vaccines that could delay the national rollout.

“Comments today by Greg Hunt could lead people to think they should wait a few months to pick another option, undermining the central message of the vaccine rollout,” said Mr Bandt. 
“Winter is coming, the spectre of further COVID outbreaks is real and the Morrison government hasn’t built large-scale remote quarantine facilities, so the message must be to get vaccinated now, not to think about waiting a few months.”

“The Minister is giving mixed messages. Saying ‘why not wait a bit’ encourages vaccine hesitancy.”

“The Prime Minister and Minister Hunt must immediately show support for all of the vaccines approved by independent health authorities and cease up-selling brands that are yet to arrive in sufficient quantities.

“The PM should also pick up the phone to the TV networks and ask them to constantly run the vaccine numbers on their screens, like in the UK. Australia needs a big advertising campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated.”

“The UK has a high vaccination rate and a big advertising campaign, but Australia has a Health Minister telling people to wait a few months. 

“Scott Morrison’s political decision to avoid responsibility for the vaccine rollout is undermining its success. He should be fronting the cameras every day urging people to get the jab as part of a high volume, high visibility information campaign.”

Greens spokesperson on Health Senator Rachel Siewert said: 

Morrison is failing Australian in his laissez-faire approach to addressing vaccine hesitancy 

The Government is treading water, hoping on a wing and a prayer that people in the community will just come out and get vaccinated. 

There is clearly a lack of confidence in how the Government is managing the vaccine rollout and we urgently need a national strategy to boost vaccine uptake that includes reminders,  and targeted messaging to specific cohorts addressing their concerns. Doing nothing is not an option. 

A public health campaign that reaches people who are vaccine hesitant is absolutely urgent. 

We have run very successful public health campaigns here in Australia like encouraging seatbelts, anti-smoking and anti HIV/Aids stigma. 

The polio vaccine changed the lives of a generation of Australians because of strong public health campaigns and messaging. 

The Morrison Government doesn’t have a timeline for fully vaccinating a certain percentage of the adult population. Without a target, we don’t have a plan to re-open borders and bring stranded Australians back home. 

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