The Auditor-General's report has laid bare the multitude of failures of the former Government’s vaccine rollout.
The report found there was a lack of targets and, when there were targets, the rollout completely missed their deadlines, especially for priority populations.
The former Government did not meet any of the five key public targets it set for the vaccine rollout to priority groups.
Contrary to the comments of the previous Prime Minister, the report found detailed planning with states and territories was not completed until after the rollout had begun.
The lack of planning was highlighted in the failures the in-reach services to the aged care and disability sectors, where the complexity of administering was found to have been underestimated and insufficient providers were engaged initially.
The former Minister for Health said aged care residents would be vaccinated by early April 2021. It wasn’t until June 2021 that second dose vaccine clinics for aged care residents were completed.
The vaccination rate of another priority population, NDIS residential disability residents, did not reach 80 per cent double vaccinated until 9 November 2021.
The previous Government put all its eggs in one basket. The report found the initial stages of the rollout were heavily reliant on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was 80 per cent of the allocation of doses to sites over the first 12 weeks of the rollout.
The weekly program management report provided to the former Minister for Health and Prime Minister also included the key risks to the rollout for the week and the status of key program milestones. As far back as 10 March 2021 the report identified the slow rollout to residential aged care facilities as a key risk and in reach to residential disability settings was ‘at risk’.
The report is available at https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/australia-covid-19-vaccine-rollout
QUOTES FOR ATTRIBUTION TO MINISTER BUTLER
“It’s clear the former Prime Minister was more interested in getting jobs for himself than getting jabs in arms.
“For much of 2021, Australia had one of the slowest vaccine rollouts in the developed world.
“Australians languished in lockdown, workers couldn’t go to work and students couldn’t go to school because the former Government failed to do its job and rollout the vaccine.”