Illustration: Cathy WilcoxCredit:
To submit a letter to The Age, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your home address and telephone number.
Timing of the rollout is not entirely in our hands
When any organisation sets up a process to achieve an objective (such as vaccine procurement and delivery) many issues help or hinder success.
The first and most critical is some steps are totally under the process team’s control and others aren’t at all. The manufacture and timelines for delivery to our country we have no control over. We have influence, i.e. ordering, quantities asked for and delivery timelines, but we have no control over these being met. When the vaccine arrives here, we have much more control in the logistics of delivery and application because we have the compliant states to manage their end of the process.
Therefore any estimates of timelines and quantities available can never be exact no matter how many contracts you have with suppliers. This type of process for delivery is always a moving target and the skill of the process team is to try to manage the variables to complete the objective in the shortest time.
Roger Wolfe, Balwyn
Of course there will be delays and mistakes
Although I am in the “vulnerable” category I happily accept that there will be delays and mistakes in the vaccine rollout. I’m more than ready to be patient and tolerant. Let’s celebrate the hundreds of thousands of successful jabs so far and continuing and not whinge about minor hiccups.
Barry Lamb, Heidelberg West
Every drug comes with some degree of risk
Gabriela Fowler (“Pill causes clots. Where’s the ire?”, Comment, 12/4) quite rightly points out that those taking the contraceptive pill are at far greater risk of blood clots than those receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
While we would all hope that the pill may be made safer, this really is indicative of the hysteria around the AstraZeneca vaccine. Every drug comes with some degree of risk, you only have to read the contraindications that come with practically every drug.
But the hyper awareness of every issue arising from the COVID-19 vaccine has led to populist decisions relating to rollout that look beyond the greater good and delay community life returning to normal by pandering to irrational individual fears.
While I would not want to be one of the four to six in every million that end up with blood clots from the vaccine, I will accept the vaccine at the first opportunity with a smile on my face.
Julian Guy, Mount Eliza
So much for duty of care
Now we are being told by the Prime Minister and those singing from his chorus line that for expediency they are backing away from any target rollouts to help get this country vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.
So much for duty of care. Not only does this show curt disregard for the most vulnerable in our society covered by programs 1a and 1b, but even for the younger people (our future) the rollout of any injection is now the stuff of speculation.
Makes you think of the insightfulness of William Shakespeare, all those centuries ago, when in his play Hamlet, he had Hamlet utter in a soliloquy, the now even more relevant words, 2b or not 2b.
Graeme Foley, Werribee
I will gladly receive the AstraZeneca vaccine
The incidence of blood clots following the AstraZeneca vaccine is reportedly four to six per million, with risk of death closer to one in a million. Doctors routinely prescribe drugs with much higher risks of serious side-effects when these are outweighed by benefit to the patient.
We have successfully suppressed COVID-19 in Australia. For younger people in particular, the potential for infection, serious symptoms or death is close to nil. Doctors are rightly concerned with what is best for individual patients. Some are understandably reluctant to administer a vaccine that may deliver zero benefit to a patient, where the associated risks are minuscule but serious.
A national vaccination program is not only about individual risk/benefit assessments. The overall social, economic and community health benefits of vaccination are enormous. We all share a responsibility to factor this into our personal decisions. I am only a little over 50 but I will gladly receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, if that is what is available, and sign whatever indemnity required for me to do so.
Mark Summerfield, Northcote
A recipe for the status quo
Thank you, Tim Costello, for your excellent depiction of the intertwining of race, gender and class inequalities (″Cast light on our caste system″, Comment, 12/4).
Social hierarchy conditioned from birth makes us set in our ways and blind to our own particular place in the hierarchy, until personal experience and/or education enlightens us. A way forward is a commitment to enact responsibility for equality when we have the opportunity.
The Morrison government refuses to accept one of the key recommendations of Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ Respect@Work report, relating to the private sector, to legislate for employers to take responsibility for workplace gender equality. This suggests that when push comes to shove, the present status quo will be maintained, with sole responsibility of the offence lying with the offender.
No doubt this will appease some Coalition supporters – but how can such an omission deeply change the present imbalance of gender respect and opportunity in workplace culture? If Jenkins’ additional ″bespoke″ review into the work culture of Parliament House makes a similar recommendation for our key federal institution, will the Coalition government similarly reject this?
Jennifer Gerrand, Carlton North
Still waiting for the increase
Where is the increase in the age of family dependents allowed under private health insurance promised in the last Commonwealth budget and to come into effect from April 1?
Many families supporting adult children living at home up to age 31 (and well beyond with other pressing circumstances) are currently further financially pressured under COVID-19 and desperately need that kind of financial assistance that was promised and most keenly waited for.
Regrettably this is very much the government of broken promises – all marketing and no delivery or substance.
Glen Hunter, Keilor Downs
A sense of entitlement
The use of VIP jets by politicians when a commercial flight most likely was available, just shows the sense of entitlement and lack of awareness of the world outside the Canberra bubble by our politicians.
And what a coincidence that Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton, Stuart Robert and Josh Frydenberg all had to fly to Sydney (at taxpayer expense) on the night of Lachlan Murdoch’s Christmas party.
Marie Nash, Balwyn
Special human beings
Amid all the COVID-19 vaccinations doom and gloom, I simply seek to pay personal tribute to those at the front line.
Having lost my beloved partner very suddenly and totally unexpectedly over the Easter break, I believe it is immensely important to respect and understand the personal risks that these very special workers face day after day.
We might believe that the pandemic has made our lives tough, however every single job that they are sent to potentially risks their exposure to infection, and thus their families too. When they are called to duty they have little idea of what they are walking into, however they take it all in their stead and move at fast pace.
I salute the unbelievable efforts of Ambulance Victoria, Croydon Police and the Coroner’s Court. Yes, it was the worst night of my life, particularly as my partner’s entire family live in the UK and I don’t have a family. I felt overwhelmed by the incredible professionalism, dedication, determination, empathy and TLC that I received over many hours. Certainly, very special human beings. Love you all.
Janine Fletcher, Croydon North
While I welcome the general principles of inclusivity, it’s time to make it actually inclusive. It’s easy to preach to the converted but it seems common and acceptable to exclude the doubters and objectors.
My generation struggled for free speech and our commitment was and still is most sorely tested by speech we disagree with.
The contemporary commitment to inclusivity is only as good as the commitment to include everyone, especially opponents.
I’m not saying you’ll succeed in persuading them but if you don’t at least fully embrace the need to try then you’re simply not being inclusive.
Mark Freeman, Macleod
Bigoted and biased
It is with my firmest conviction that I am responding to the bigoted and biased articles that you have printed in The Age newspaper with regard to Scientology.
The High Court landmark case of 1983 clearly, irresistibly and irrefutably defines the Church of Scientology as a religious organisation. I stand by this landmark decision.
I personally have donated, of my own free will, funding towards Ideal Organisation buildings in Australia. These funds come from my hard-earned and taxed income in Australia and are not “profit″ produced in the church.
I personally am involved in many community betterment projects, as a representative of the Church of Scientology within Australia and overseas. I have observed the positive impact of these actions. I am not paid for this work and I continue to contribute in this way as I can observe the positive effect on other people’s lives and the community.
Robert Brittain, North Ryde, NSW
Editor’s note: The Age has received several letters along these lines criticising our recent coverage of the Church of Scientology. We stand by our reporting.
A man of many abilities
I am no longer ″surprised″ by Prince Charles’ ″abilities″ (Letters, 12/4). A little research indicates: Knowledgeable in the planet’s arts, history, politics and languages. Able to navigate by the stars and sextant; and until recently licensed to pilot four-engine jet aircraft – he also passes the pub test in farming communities on agriculture, animal welfare and care of country.
Duty and service? Yes, unquestionably, over the course of a lifetime.
With a track record in prospering urban forests and gardens, far worse places exist for the common people to raise kids than his housing initiative of Poundbury. (It pays a virtual look.)
We would share this bloke with Canada, New Zealand, the UK and other nations, but this might be preferable to trusting our politicians to devise and implement a republic.
Ronald Elliott, Sandringham
It’s time to get active
Nearly everything the federal government touches seems to falter and fail, revealing spin over substance. This can result from taking advice from a narrow range of consultants carefully chosen to reflect and reinforce Coalition ideology. There is also an over-reliance on private organisations to provide services in areas where they have limited expertise. Recommendations of elaborate inquiries, reports and commissions are allowed to languish.
There is an increasing feeling that we are not being well served, that there is something incompetent, crass and even slightly cruel at the core of our governance.
The opposition has been decently subdued during the COVID-19 emergency, not wishing to undermine the national effort. However, it’s now time for Labor to roll out the cannon and fire streamers of constructive advice towards a government in increasing disarray.
Peter Barry, Marysville
Many years ago I undertook a well-credentialled leadership course.
A quote from one of the visiting CEOs has always stuck with me: ″Leadership is about emotion and commitment. Leaders use persuasion not coercion. Leaders achieve commitment not compliance. They deal in context, meaning and insight.″
I really wish our Prime Minister had attended the same course.
Martin Barlass, Kilsyth
In praise of Philip Roth
Unable to go to the library most of 2020, I reread some of my own books, one of which was Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint.
When I first read the book, so many years ago, I found it to be risque, but so brave for the times. It is then revelatory that my latest reaction was akin to one of shock, and mild distaste.
I do not consider myself a prude, or a judgmental person, so I was surprised at my reaction. However, on reflection, I took into consideration how literature, and through literature, history has been sanitised to such a degree that we are prepared to deny not only the past, but our very selves.
Apologies, Mr Roth, and thank you for your wonderful, insightful books.
Eva Millane, Box Hill North
Hasn’t he heard of Skype?
Why is Trade Minister Dan Tehan flying to Europe this week, where COVID-19 numbers are still high, to urge his German, Belgian and French counterparts to increase vaccine production?
Hasn’t he heard of Zoom or Skype meetings? Or the telephone? This would save a lot of money on flights, plus he wouldn’t have to isolate on his return.
Seems like a no-brainer.
Joy Hayman, Blackburn North
He used his position well
It was said of Michelangelo ″if you seek his monument, look around″. So, too, it is with the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He used his privileged position with great effect to promote his passionate concerns about the environment, biodiversity and the development of young people through his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
I have been witness to hundreds and hundreds of young people who have benefited from the tri-level award scheme. Its beauty is people work through it at their own pace. The badges are earned, not won.
Perhaps, in the death of the duke, the award scheme which bears his name might earn a resurgence of new life among the next generation of young Aussies. They will not regret it.
Nick Toovey, Beaumaris
A better use of his time?
Perhaps if Greg Hunt had spent less time criticising Daniel Andrews and exhorting Victoria to ″open up″, he might have found time to do his job which was to buy vaccines for Australia.
This epic fail means Australia is now going to be locked up and left behind as the rest of the vaccinated world gets on with business.
Belinda Burke, Hawthorn
AND ANOTHER THING
The vaccine rollout
Instead of improving performance to avoid being a sitting duck, Scott Morrison has removed all targets.
Joan Segrave, Healesville
A question for Scott Morrison re the vaccines: ″Where the bloody hell are they?″
Phil Alexander, Eltham
When will the Prime Minister tell the Australian public ″I don’t hold a syringe, mate″ as his response to the monumental failure of the vaccine rollout.
Les Anderson, Woodend
A matter of perspective
In Australia we have had more than 900 deaths from COVID-19. It has been estimated that about 25 people would die from blood clots caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine if every adult received it. Let’s get things in perspective.
Tony O’Brien, South Melbourne
The problem with Scott Morrison isn’t that he over-promises and under-delivers; it’s that he under-promises but still manages to under-deliver.
David Francis, Ivanhoe
Is Scott Morrison simply out of his depth?
Hans Paas, Castlemaine
I wanted to suggest Scott Morrison forgets vaccines and talks about one of the government’s more successful programs, but I can’t find one.
John Walsh, Watsonia
Is Scott Morrison going to dump Andrew Laming now that he has announced he will again seek party endorsement for the seat of Bowman?
Russell Castley, Creswick
Lines of communication
When making a grand statement the Prime Minister calls a press conference. When correcting the grand statement the Prime Minister makes a Facebook announcement. If he only had some steel.
Jenny Darling, Southbank
Mr Morrison, you are my Prime Minister and I am not on Facebook.
Sean Geary, Southbank
What can the regular citizen do when we find ourselves living in an idiocracy?
Raymond Kenyon, Camberwell
Note from the Editor
The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, writes an exclusive newsletter for subscribers on the week’s most important stories and issues. Sign up here to receive it every Friday.
Most Viewed in National
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article