The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says confirmation vaccination rates in Victoria have fallen significantly behind NSW must be immediately addressed by the Andrews Labor Government.
Mr Walsh says at current uptakes rates, Victoria will not reach National Cabinet’s key 70 per cent vaccination target until September 29 – more than three weeks after NSW.
Furthermore, he said the latest data also confirms Victoria will not reach the 80 per cent target until October 19 – almost five weeks after NSW.
“Daniel Andrews has no plan to boost his sluggish vaccine uptake rates – only a plan for more lockdowns and tighter restrictions – it’s like watching the replay of a football game and hoping for a different result,” Mr Walsh said.
“In contrast, the Victorian Liberal Nationals have a plan to jump-start Victoria’s lagging vaccination rates,” he added.
He said the cornerstone of the plan is to:
- Immediately redirect funds spent on wasteful self-promoting State Government advertising into vaccination ads.
- Ensure teachers and early childhood educators are supported with priority vaccination to keep our schools open safely.
- Open vaccine bookings until the end of the year at all state-run hubs.
- Introduce mobile vaccine centres to target at-risk cohorts and hotspots.
- Ensure AstraZeneca vaccinations are available for under 40’s at all state run facilities.
- Fully commit to national cabinet’s agreed pathway out of lockdowns.
Mr Walsh said Daniel Andrews is guilty of dangerous mixed messaging about vaccines; and that is adding to vaccine hesitancy.
He said the Andrews Labor Government needs to commit to the National Cabinet plan to reopen rather than a zero cases crusade that will leave Victoria broke and broken.
“With every week in lockdown costing our state $1 billion – and compounding social and mental health harms – Daniel Andrews must immediately adopt these measures and get our state vaccinated,” Mr Walsh said.
“It’s unacceptable Victoria remains a month behind NSW with millions of vaccine doses still on the shelf,” he said.
“Daniel Andrews is guilty of having no plan get more jabs in more arms, just a plan to shut down face-to-face learning, close business and playgrounds and tear communities apart.
“Every effort must be made to Vic’s the vax as quickly and safely as possible.”