VACCINATION in Australia was not a race, until it became a race.
And now that it is a race, we the public play audience to the familiar political theatre of state and territory governments blaming Canberra - and visa-versa - and of oppositions grabbing the spotlight when they can. Which for much of the pandemic, has been rarely.
Yes, some people are vaccine hesitant.
COVID IN THE HUNTER:
Even if it's more than that, the numbers will fall, if overseas experience is anything to go by. And it should be.
No other country is an exact parallel with Australia but we have more similarities than differences with the United Kingdom and the United States.
The UK has had its anti-vax and anti-lockdown protests, but the lure of reopened borders and a pathway to a post-COVID "normal" has encouraged Brits to roll up their sleeves.
Republicans, even after Donald Trump, are still inclined to see pandemic restrictions as violations of their personal rights.
The Delta variant has been tearing through America.
Friday topped 250,000 cases, a figure within reach of the 300,000-a-day peak of early January.
The difference now is the deaths: 1000 a day compared to January's 4000-a-day peak, and almost all among the unvaccinated.
Previous holdouts to getting the jab are changing their tunes in the face of their own mortality.
In Australia, our lagging vaccination rates are accelerating.
Yesterday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine, to be added to the AstraZeneca and Pfizer supplies.
Research around the world continues full pace to improve existing vaccines and to come up with better ones.
Regimes are changing, too, with Moderna saying last week that it believed a third, smaller, booster dose of its vaccine would be necessary this northern winter to counter the strength of the Delta variant.
The international Delta onslaught is evidence enough for most people to accept the restrictions of lockdowns.
We have to make them work.
We may, in time, have to "live with COVID-19".
But not until we have as many people as possible vaccinated.
The Morrison government does not want to move to mandatory shots, but the safety of the many should not be compromised by the selfishness of the few.
As the hospitalisations of younger Australians are showing, this is no longer an affliction of older people, or of those with compromised health.
We watch and wait.
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