Only a few months ago, Australia had one of the world’s most aggressive coercion programs to force Covid vaccines on its people.
Now Australia has essentially ended its Covid vaccination program for healthy adults under 50 – and effectively banned the shots for people under 30, unless they have severe chronic illnesses.
With the change, Australia joins Denmark in curtailing its vaccine program for adults under 50.
Last week, Norway went even further, saying no one under 65 should receive additional shots unless they were at underlying risk of a severe disease course (oddly, Norway kept its recommendation for pregnant women.)
(The new Covid vaccine recommendations from Norway; obviously, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health HATES science)
But Australia’s change is arguably the most striking, because Australian states put extraordinary pressure on their people to submit to Covid vaccinations last fall and winter.
Mandates for work were only the beginning.
In November 2021, for example, Victoria – Australia’s second-largest state – decreed that only vaccinated people would be allowed in gyms, bars, restaurants, libraries, and “non-essential” retailers like bookstores and hairdressers. Two months later, the Northern Territory briefly placed unvaccinated people under a “snap lockdown,” confining them to their homes.
The pressure succeeded.
24 out of every 25 Australian adults received a primary two-dose Covid vaccination last year, mostly with mRNA shots from Pfizer and Moderna. Australians were also very accepting of boosters, with more than 7 out of 10 adults getting a third shot.
Yet 2022 has proven disastrous for Australia, both for Covid and public health generally.
Covid has torn through Australia this year, causing far more deaths than in 2020 or 2021 – and nearly all the deaths are in the vaccinated and boosted. Last week, the state of New South Wales reported only four of 75 deaths occurred in the unvaccinated, while 62 occurred in people who had received at least one booster.
Worse, overall deaths are up almost 20 percent and hospitals have faced serious strain.
Now Australia has – quietly – all-but given up on Covid vaccines for most adults. In a late August report, the Australian government-run group that advises the government on vaccinations said healthy adults under 50 do not need a second Covid booster.
According to the group, “adults aged 30 to 49 years can [emphasis added] receive a second booster (fourth dose) of a COVID-19 vaccine; however the benefit for people in this age group is less certain.”
The rules for people under 30 are even tighter. For them, second boosters are reserved for anyone aged 16 to 30 who has “complex, chronic, or severe medical conditions.” No one under 16 is recommended to get a second booster.
Australia’s move is more proof of how quickly the debate around Covid vaccines in general and the mRNA shots in particular has shifted – even if Dr. Anthony Fauci has not yet gotten the memo.
Oh well. At least he’s in the high-risk group. As the public service announcements used to say, the life you (don’t) save may be your own.