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With half the nation in lockdown, Australia’s prime minister apologizes for gradual vaccine rollout.



Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia apologized on Thursday for delays within the nation’s vaccine program, amid mounting stress to take duty with half the inhabitants in lockdown due to outbreaks pushed by the Delta variant.

“I’m actually sorry we haven’t been capable of obtain the marks we had hoped for at the start of the yr, in fact I’m,” Mr. Morrison mentioned at a news convention. “However what’s extra essential is we’re completely targeted on making certain we’ve been turning this round.”

Initially of the yr, Mr. Morrison had mentioned that he aimed to vaccinate everybody who wished the pictures by the tip of October. The goal has since been pushed again to the tip of the yr.

One month in the past, solely 5 % of Australians over age 16 have been absolutely vaccinated, one of many lowest charges amongst wealthy international locations. Mr. Morrison mentioned this system had picked up tempo and that fee was now 15 %, with 36 % having obtained no less than one dose, in response to authorities statistics.

Mr. Morrison’s feedback as New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, reported 124 new group circumstances — its highest day by day complete to this point — in its fourth week of lockdown. The state’s premier, Gladys Berejiklian, warned that she was “anticipating case numbers to go up even greater” as a result of many individuals had been infectious whereas locally.

The state of Victoria, additionally in lockdown, recorded 26 day by day circumstances, its highest this yr.

On Wednesday, Mr. Morrison had refused to apologize for the vaccine rollout throughout a radio interview on the industrial station KIIS. The host, Jason Hawkins, requested him to apologize repeatedly, at one level saying: “Scott, I’d even take a ‘My dangerous, Jase.’”

The prime minister replied: “We’re fixing the issue and getting on with it.”


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