/ 31 May 2021

Aged care breach sharpens vaccination concerns

Ten more locally acquired coronavirus cases were added to the outbreak in Melbourne over the weekend, taking the total to 40. There is a mystery case who is troubling officials – an aged care worker whose infection has put an Arcare facility in Melbourne’s northwest into lockdown. The growing number of cases and the possible reemergence of the virus in an aged care home has made the COVID vaccination rollout a hot topic again.

As hot as you can get on a record-breaking cold weekend in Melbourne… Yesterday, Deputy PM Michael McCormack repeated an old line that vaccination is “not a race, it has to be systematic”. That was not well received by Victoria’s Acting Premier James Merlino, who said he would like to make the program go faster if the Commonwealth could guarantee the vaccine supply. However, Merlino came under fire for its faltering vaccination booking system. And words were exchanged over the Morrison Government’s refusal to provide financial support to help workers and businesses affected by the ‘circuit-breaker’ with PM Scott Morrison saying Queensland and Western Oz have not requested support for their snap lockdowns. So everyone’s a critic…

Some good news, perhaps? Soz… A new COVID strain has been detected in Vietnam that scientists say appears to be a combination of the Indian and UK variants. There are already thousands of variations of COVID-19 – most are inconsequential, but some can make a virus more contagious, and officials say this one falls into the latter category. Vietnam’s Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said the mutation is “very dangerous”, and its genetic code will be shared soon. The good news is the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines have been found to be very effective against the major strains that have popped up so far.

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