Scott Morrison has clashed with an FM radio host in Melbourne after refusing to apologise for the country’s sluggish vaccine rollout. As part of a blitz of radio stations in Adelaide and Melbourne on Wednesday, the prime minister was challenged by the hosts of Kiis FM to apologise for the “nightmare” of the vaccine rollout.
After months of boasting about his “gold standard” pandemic response and insisting vaccine rollout was “not a race”, Morrison bowed to critics. “I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year. Of course I am,” he said
Sydney has been in lockdown for almost a month, but there seems little prospect of stay-at-home orders being lifted at the end of this month as planned. The restrictions which have shuttered most shops, businesses and classrooms may have prevented a tidal wave of cases, but have so far failed to stop the outbreak.
Some 18 months into the pandemic, adherence to the latest lockdown rules has been patchy and there is widespread anger at the government’s response. Australia bet heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is now only recommended for Australians over 60s because of blood clotting fears.
The government says it will meet its target to inoculate its adult population by end-2021 as millions of vaccine doses arrive from Pfizer and Moderna in the coming weeks. Australia has been administering less than 150,000 vaccines each day, well behind other developed nations.