Waiting for the jab!


dougkFriday, 2 April 2021 - 3:34pm

If you are over 70 or have underlying medical conditions, then you would be among the 1800+ “Phase 1b” people in the Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest statistical region who became eligible to get the COVID vaccine on 22 March. The local Health Centre now expects to get its first allocation of vaccines sometime in the next week or two. Unfortunately, given the government has determined that it should get just fifty doses per week, many of us could be in for a long wait for our turn to be vaccinated.

Over 12 weeks, at 50 injections a week, the first 600 of those 1800 people will have had their first jab. At that point, the second jabs for those lucky first 600 will need to begin. But that will mean another 12 weeks wait before first injections can begin for the second batch of 600. That means, if vaccine supply stays at that 50 per week rate, it will take 18 months or more for all locals in Phase 1b to be vaccinated. And it is a possibility that by then, those people from the first batch might already be needing a booster. Obviously this is not a viable scenario.

I wonder whether whoever is allocating the vaccines took the time to consider local demographics. I suspect not. In 2016, almost a third of the people in the Tea Gardens/Hawks Nest statistical region were over 70. Fifty five percent were over 60. For Australia as a whole those figures were 10.7% and 21.4%. An aged area like ours should clearly be getting a much larger allocation of vaccines at this point than the measly 50 per week on offer. What’s needed now is some Vaccine Vroom Vroom in both production and intelligent distribution. We can but hope.


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