With about 30% of the population still waiting for their third dose and roughly 75% still waiting for their fourth injection, millions of people are refusing Covid booster shots out of concern that hospitals may collapse under the strain.
With only 72% of Australians who are eligible having received a third dose of the Covid vaccination, state and federal health authorities are concerned that the number of people receiving additional doses of the vaccine is rapidly declining.
Out of the 20 million eligible individuals, more than 5.6 million have not yet had their first booster shot, and just 5 million have thus far rolled up their sleeve for a fourth shot.
Mark Butler, the federal health minister, concedes that the vaccination programme is currently “flatlining.”
The widespread vaccine tiredness coincides with the nearly 29,000 new viral cases and 89 fatalities that were reported nationwide on Saturday.
The number of virus patients receiving medical care has been dropping daily over the previous week, but it still stands at little around 4500, or nearly one in every twelve hospital beds.
Over 300,000 cases are still officially active countrywide.
The ACT has the best coverage at 79.9%, while Queensland performs the poorest for boosters, with only 64.5% of eligible residents obtaining a third shot.
For all of Australia, the boosting rate for Indigenous Australians is 55%.
The number of new third doses is marginally increasing every day, with the Northern Territory registering 45 and NSW recorded 2075 on Friday.
Health Minister Mark Butler stated, “Third booster dose rates have flatlined, which is something I am extremely concerned about.”
Although informational initiatives are being launched, the slow rate of absorption by people under 65 continues to be a problem.
Following the program’s extension few weeks ago, a fourth dose has now been given to 4.22 million Australians.
The Omicron wave response from the federal government, according to opposition health spokeswoman Anne Ruston, is “worrying.”
She claimed that they had scrapped a number of assistance programmes that had gotten Australians through the pandemic and had been forced to reverse course on the pandemic leave catastrophe payment.
“70 COVID-related telehealth items, free RATS for concession card holders and elderly care homes, and Operation COVID Shield have all been terminated without reason and without apparent advice or models to back their decisions.”
Senator Rushton suggested that the government make their modelling and advise on health available.
On August 31, the national cabinet, which is in charge of managing the pandemic response, will convene again.
In addition to one of the worst winters on record due to a horrific flu season and the current pandemic, Victoria reported marginally fewer individuals waiting for elective surgery.
During the June quarter, the state’s wait list for elective surgeries decreased from a revised 88,920 to 87,275 while Ambulance Victoria saw its busiest time for code one call-outs ever.
The third Omicron wave across the country caused some Victorian institutions, including The Alfred and Bendigo Health, to postpone or cancel surgeries in mid-July.
Therefore, any potential effects of their choices won’t be seen until the subsequent quarterly data set.
Health Minister Mary-Anne Thomas told reporters in Melbourne, “We’re in the midst of a record-breaking period of demand on our health system, but this latest data shows we are weathering the storm and developing a system that will be stronger than ever.”
“All of our healthcare professionals are doing an amazing job in difficult situations, and this government is making sure they have all the support they need to provide Victorians with the care they need more quickly.”
There is no quick remedy, according to Ms. Thomas, but the $12 billion pandemic repair plan and $1.5 billion COVID-19 catch-up project of the government are beginning to have an effect.
Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier pointed out that although there were 21,000 more individuals on the waiting list than at the same time last year, there were less people waiting for elective surgery than there were three months prior.
She said, “That’s 21,000 more Victorians waiting in anguish as their health declines.”