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Vaccine rollout delay could set back herd immunity by 12 months, costing billions

  • April 12 2021
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Invest

Vaccine rollout delay could set back herd immunity by 12 months, costing billions

By Cameron Micallef
April 12 2021

Australia’s delay in the vaccine rollout is tipped to cost the nation over $1.4 billion and see residents locked down for an additional 11.1 days, an industry expert has said.

Vaccine delays

Vaccine rollout delay could set back herd immunity by 12 months, costing billions

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  • April 12 2021
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Australia’s delay in the vaccine rollout is tipped to cost the nation over $1.4 billion and see residents locked down for an additional 11.1 days, an industry expert has said.

Vaccine delays

The Morrison government’s initial COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap plan would have reached the earliest possible measure of herd immunity (65 per cent vaccination rate) by August 2021.  

However, the government has formally abandoned its target of having every Australian vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of October. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a Facebook message on Sunday night confirming that the government has not set, nor has any plans to set, a new vaccination target. 

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“While we would like to see these doses completed before the end of the year, it is not possible to set such targets given the many uncertainties involved,” he said. 

While the cost of lockdowns varies wildly, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has previously stated that a national lockdown cost Australia $4 billion per week.

According to a new report by the McKell Institute, even if Australia picks up the vaccination rollout rate to that of the UK, herd immunity would be delayed by 116 days from Morrison's original schedule. Under the same scenario, Australia could except 11.1 days of lockdown, costing the economy some $1.368 billion.

By comparison, if Australia were to instantly increase the pace of vaccination to mimic the rate of Germany, the delay would be 353 days with a projected economic cost of $4.164 billion. 

“These delays will increase the chance of lockdowns and the economic costs that come with them,” McKell Institute's executive director, Michael Buckland.

“It’s vital we are clear-sighted about the cost and impact of a government’s action or inaction.

“Just as it was correct for the government to measure the economic impact of state lockdowns, so too should the government embrace the publication of clear information about the economic impact of its vaccination rollout program.”

Mr Buckland highlighted that the slow rollout could have devastating impacts on small businesses.

“Australia’s vaccination program has failed to meet its targets, and it’s incomprehensible that we will catch up. Our leaders need to accept the additional risks of delay and act.

“Additional support measures for vulnerable people and businesses must be considered in response to the delay,” he concluded. 

Vaccine rollout delay could set back herd immunity by 12 months, costing billions
Vaccine delays
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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