Unfiltered, cold, hard facts - just what we were looking for! Wonderful insights and perspectives on our current status quo. It's a great watch but here are the key messages:
Vaccination: this is the only way out… “None of us is safe until all of us are safe…We need to get rid of this as soon as possible.”
If #Delta is allowed to circulate, we will get super delta variants which may render current vaccines less effective.
We are currently reaching 138,000 shots per day - we need 190,000 injections per day in 12yo and older to obtain fully vaccinated minimum 80% by end of Dec 2021
Properly constructed Quarantine Facilities (costing a fraction of the estimated $1bn per week for Sydney in lost economic activity due to current lockdowns);
Rapid and Take-home Testing kits (to enable fast and home testing ie for aged care workers, catching cases earlier including whilst asymptomatic) - these tests are now very accurate.
A “Rolls Royce” vaccine Distribution Plan (for when vaccination supply increases); and
To get Australians home safely ASAP.
Regarding the Economy:
Elimination/control of Covid = better economic outcomes. If people are cautious about going out because the virus is still circulating, they don’t go out and spend.
Prior to the current lockdowns the economy had rebounded from previous lockdowns due to good control of Covid and strong economic stimulus.
July-Sept will be a difficult time but we can’t open back up until the virus is under control. We need lockdowns because we are behind in vaccinations. We won’t have enough Pfizer in Australia until Nov/Dec. Ideally we need early, short, sharp, full lockdowns and not late, long, lockdown lite. In NSW the virus has now escaped.
The Government has an obligation to support the economy because the lockdowns are the result of policy decisions. Regarding budget balance, this is a crisis and not the time to rein in spending. Bond markets are unconcerned, interest rates are low. So Gmt must ensure vulnerable people are protected.
Regarding Aged Care:
Older people have had their lives constrained more than most.
They are more socially isolated
Function has declined
They are most at risk from not being vaccinated. Vaccination rates in aged care are now improved, but must be better!
Thank you to everyone who joined us and a big thank you to our wonderful panel of experts:
Prof. Mary Louise McLaws, Epidemiologist + WHO advisor + UNSW
Ric Deverell, Economist, Macquarie Bank
Craig Gear, CEO Older Persons Advocacy Network OPAN