Insight Online News
Canberra, July 2 : Former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday described the country’s coronavirus vaccine rollout as a “phenomenal failure of public administration”.
Turnbull, who served as Prime Minister from 2015 to 2018, said that Australia was “way behind” comparable countries, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I can’t think of a bigger black and white failure of public administration than this,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
“Governments make lots of mistakes of course, as we all do, but this is something that was very doable.”
As of Friday, there had been 7.97 million coronavirus vaccines administered in Australia and about 8 per cent of the adult population had been fully vaccinated.
Despite the slow start to the rollout, the government insists that the program is on track and every adult who wants a vaccine will receive at least one dose by the end of 2021.
Turnbull, who retired from politics after being deposed by incumbent Prime Minister Scott Morrison in August 2018, also criticised the mixed messaging from federal and state governments around the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Health authorities have rejected Morrison’s move to open the vaccine to anyone under the age of 40 against the advice of the expert panel on immunisations.
“It’s mind-boggling. I mean, vaccine hesitancy is a problem everywhere and at every time, it is as though governments are trying to do their utmost to maximize it at the moment with all of the disagreements and confusion,” Turnbull said.
“It’s a mess. But the fact that you’ve got so many other premiers and chief medical officers disagreeing with it, and very vocally, obviously undermines confidence in the vaccine.”
IANS / AGENCY