Apparently there have been four new Covid-19 cases in Melbourne today – local cases, not cases in hotel quarantine. The origin of these cases isn’t yet known, but it seems like they might be linked to a case where a man contracted the virus inside hotel quarantine in South Australia, and returned home to Victoria before testing positive. So far no snap lockdowns have been announced, which is good news, I guess.
But this does all go to show that until we have enough people vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, there is always the risk of further outbreaks in the community stemming from hotel quarantine (not to mention that it’d be really nice to reopen our borders one day). Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region we have the cautionary tale of Taiwan: after tremendous success containing the virus, they’re now seeing a surge of cases similar to Victoria’s second wave. Obviously, they’re far from the worst-hit country in Asia, but I guess Taiwan stands out because their latest outbreak shows that you can do everything else right, and yet in the face of new variants and pretty-much-inevitable leaks from quarantine, you need to vaccinate widely to keep people safe.
Australia’s vaccine rollout has been a big ongoing issue here. Apparently we’re at nearly 14 doses administered per 100 adults now (not the same as 14% of adults being vaccinated, of course…) but there are still ongoing issues: disability homes have not been getting supply to vaccinate their residents; the government got the proportion wrong of how many doses to send to central vaccination hubs vs local GPs, resulting in empty vaccination hubs and overstretched GPs; then finally, all the shit around AstraZeneca, whereby too many Boomers are turning up their nose and waiting for Pfizer, while young people who actually want AstraZeneca are being told they can’t have it because they’re not old enough. Last week there was a story about those vaccination hubs quietly allowing non-priority young people to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca if they wanted, but I guess too many people took that story to heart because hubs are reportedly not allowing that, again.
Then there’s me… I don’t even know if the government considers me priority or non-priority, or how I’d prove priority status if I did qualify, and none of their hubs are very close to where I live anyway, and I guess I’d prefer Pfizer if I got the choice but mostly because of its effectiveness against variants, not the whole blood clot beat-up. I’d be fine with AstraZeneca if that’s what I was given, though – there can be later booster shots for variants. I don’t know… I guess waiting for Pfizer (which is the government’s recommendation for people my age, anyway) doesn’t bother me so much when we have no cases here, but every time there’s another leak from quarantine, I just get that little spark of anxiety. I’ll feel more relaxed once I get that shot in my arm. My parents, at least, are not “vaccine-hesitant”, but my mum has some severe mobility issues and wants to get it from her GP rather than in a hub. I’ll be more relaxed when they get that opportunity, too! Bahhh.