‘Arrogant, failure’: PM savaged over vaccine bungle

 

Labor has issued a scathing attack against the Morrison government over the latest development in Australia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Overnight, Australian regulators advised the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be administered to people aged 50 and over.

This jab was set to be the one administered to the majority of Aussies, with the overnight announcement throwing the already lagging rollout plan into chaos.

Labor Leader Anthony Albanese didn't hold back on Friday morning, labelling the rollout a "debacle" and lashing the government for not buying a wider range of vaccine candidates.

"Labor was warning for a long period of time that we needed to do what international best practice told us we should do, to have access to five or six vaccines," he said.

"The fact that we now have such uncertainty about the rollout is a direct result of an arrogant government that was too focused on the 24-hour media cycle and not focused on what Australia needed."

Mr Albanese then took aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, blaming him for Australia's poor COVID vaccination rates.

"Scott Morrison said that we were at the front of the queue. Nothing could be further from the truth,' he said.

"Australia's struggling to get into the top 100 when it comes to the rollout of the vaccine. Where in areas like the United Kingdom we have 60% of the adult population have been vaccinated. Israel's right at the top with 100% of their population being vaccinated. And we're struggling to get beyond 2 or 3% at this point in time.

"Scott Morrison said and repeated on January 7 the clear commitment that 4 million people could be vaccinated by the end of March. We know that figure is less than one million to even receive their first jab.

"Scott Morrison has tried to redefine when people are vaccinated from having two jabs by the end of October, into having just one. Trying to change the goal posts and yesterday he couldn't even say if people would be vaccinated by the end of 2021.

"Australians won't forget who is responsible for failing to deliver on what are his own promises and his own commitments when it comes to these issues."

Originally published as 'Arrogant, failure': PM savaged over bungle