By Kim Sampson, Immunisation Coalition CEO.
Now that we have passed the 3rd anniversary of the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization, it is an opportune time to reflect on the past 3 years, and what the future might look like.
Having lived through lockdowns, empty streets, wearing of masks at all times, and limited options for exercise, we are now almost entirely free of those restrictions (there are some obvious exceptions such as mask wearing in medical settings). By the end of 2020 there were almost 30,000 cases, and over 900 deaths. They were numbers that shocked the nation, and there was (for most people) and understanding as to why the severe measures had been undertaken.
By the end of 2021, there were a total of more than 360,000 cases, and over 2,200 deaths. The vaccine had been introduced and we saw very good uptake of the first and second doses (a remarkable 96% in the recommended cohort), which began to slow to 73% by the 3rd dose (still an impressive number when compared to other vaccines). By the time of the 4th dose though, vaccination rates had fallen well below 50%.
The notion of vaccine fatigue emerged when the 4th dose was introduced, at a time when flu vaccines were also on offer. People said they had had enough! This was exacerbated by the ever-increasing noise from the anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown, and “freedom” movements. Wild unfounded claims of conspiracies were circulating and undermining the best efforts of health experts, scientists, and government…
This article was originally published in the ‘Next Gen Life – Health & Wellbeing Magazine’, Issue 44, April 2023 – to continue reading this article click here.
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