The Informer: Vaccinate your way towards freedom, jab holdouts told in fresh campaign

COVID vaccines, like the Moderna one, pictured, are the best way to ensure Australians regain and retain their freedoms, a new government campaign will say. Picture: Elesa Kurtz
COVID vaccines, like the Moderna one, pictured, are the best way to ensure Australians regain and retain their freedoms, a new government campaign will say. Picture: Elesa Kurtz

Vaccination equals freedom. That will be the clear message of a new federal government campaign designed to reach the last holdouts for COVID-19 vaccines.

More than 34 million vaccinations have been administered against the potentially deadly virus, with just 13.4 per cent of Australians aged 16 and above yet to have a first dose.

Australia's vaccine rollout co-ordinator John Frewen said the new campaign "Spread Freedom" was focused on those who are yet to come forward and get vaccinated.

"It is designed to really highlight the close links between vaccination and either regaining those freedoms that we all want to enjoy, or protecting those freedoms in the states where we haven't yet seen outbreaks," Lieutenant General Frewen said in Canberra on Sunday.

"If you want to be fully protected before Christmas, then you need to start coming forward now to get that first dose to get the whole process done."

The federal government will also run a campaign, "For All of Us", aimed at Indigenous Australians, whose vaccination rates are lower than the general population.

The pandemic continues to dominate the headlines this weekend, but in some positive news, a former Commonwealth deputy chief medical officer says strong vaccination take up will mean lockdowns should be a thing of the past.

Professor Nick Coatsworth said high vaccination rates were an important relief for the health workforce in Australia.

"If we see hospitalisation rates continue to decrease, despite NSW opening up, then it would be very difficult, in fact I don't think anyone would suggest you would need more lockdowns in that sort of situation," Professor Coatsworth said on Sky News on Sunday.

"If hospitalisation rates increase you might see more targeted restrictions coming back."

The ACT reported its lowest daily COVID-19 case number in more than a month, with nine infections identified from a significantly lower number of tests.

Victoria reported 1935 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths, while NSW reported 296 new cases and four more deaths.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews also announced a series of changes to restrictions that will be made in the state, including the reintroduction of statewide travel from 6pm on Friday.

NSW, meanwhile, will launch a post-lockdown tourism campaign to restart the state's visitor economy.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said: "We want our people to stay, we want the rest of the country to visit and we want the world to come and feel and experience the best that our state has to offer."

The easing of lockdowns might be welcome news for employers, with new research showing some office workers are less productive working from home over extended periods of time.

Productivity among new staff drops steadily over a period of nine months when they start with a business remotely, the study from Macquarie University found.

But working parents and more experienced employees log an average of 1.8 extra hours each day when they choose to work from home.

The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic era will no doubt be felt for a long time, with one economist warning "pandemic era financing" will further entrench inequality.

There are now an estimated 270,000 children under 12 across Australia thought have active share portfolios in their names, according to recent research by comparison site Finder.

Alison Pennington, senior economist at the Centre for Future Work, said households with cash to spare invested in shares, often in their children's names, because record-low interest rates offered poor returns on savings.

Children from better-off households could be set for life, while others will be significantly worse off, setting up an effect which is likely to be felt across generations.

"There are massive implications because clearly not everyone has the spare cash to be throwing into investments," Ms Pennington said.

"We'll see, in this pandemic era, increasing levels of inequalities between households."

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This story Vaccinate your way towards freedom, jab holdouts told first appeared on The Canberra Times.