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Prime Minister must release Doherty vaccine target modelling: Greens

Media Release
Adam Bandt 3 Aug 2021

The Australian Greens have joined calls for the Prime Minister to release Doherty Institute modelling used to justify national vaccine targets that have been agreed in-principle by the National Cabinet.

Shifting from an effective strategy of zero community transmission to one of removing restrictions and opening up the borders based on high levels of vaccination is one of the most important decisions the country can make. Too low targets risk surging hospitalisations and thousands of deaths, so we all need to know the content of the scientific modelling informing the target decisions.

There is a justifiable concern that the Prime Minister is cherry-picking the modelling.

Public modelling, such as that released by the Grattan Institute, suggests a vaccine target of 80% of the whole population is necessary to avoid overwhelming the health system and potentially tens of thousands of deaths when the lifting of severe restrictions such as lockdowns occur. The proposed National Cabinet target of 80% of people aged 16+ is actually a population target of 65%. Grattan modelling suggests reopening when only 65% of the population is vaccinated could lead to many thousands of deaths. 

The Greens will pursue the Government on the modelling in the Parliament and in upcoming hearings of the COVID Senate Committee, including moving in the Senate for an Order for the Production of documents motion to force the release of the modelling.

Quotes attributable to Greens Leader Adam Bandt:

“This Government has a history of fudging numbers and ignoring science, so the public needs to see the full modelling.

“If the government plays games with the numbers and science, people could die.

“Our understanding is that the Prime Minister’s target of 70% of the eligible population translates to 55% of the total population. That’s a huge difference. 

“The only way to restore trust and make all the numbers clear is for the government to immediately release the complete Doherty modelling.”

Quotes attributable to Australian Greens Health Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert:

“The Prime Minister must release the Doherty modelling. Australian’s deserve to know the truth.”

“Has the PM cherry picked the modelling? If he has nothing to hide he should release it in full.”

“The NSW and QLD outbreaks are showing how young people can contract and spread the virus. Children above 12 must be included in the vaccine targets. They deserve to be protected and only a high vaccination rate of the whole population will limit deaths and hospitalisations and ensure lockdowns and restrictions can be lifted.”

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