Gippsland nationalist says he is saddened by the federal government’s handling of the vaccine’s rollout in anger over the prime minister’s unwillingness to apologize for the difficulties people face in getting vaccinated.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison declined to apologize for the rollout yesterday, saying delays were regrettable
- More than a million vaccine doses were administered in the last week
- Darren Chester says he is sorry for the delays, but Australia has been a “victim of its own success” in suppressing the virus
Scott Morrison has since said “sorry” for the challenges his government faced in rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year, but not before Darren Chester – who was fired from the Department of Veterans Affairs last month – took to Facebook to address the problem.
“I’m sorry it took longer than people expected and I’m sorry some people have lost confidence in our government and our world – class healthcare system as a result,” the post said.
Despite the apology, Mr Chester accused the media of reporting side effects to the AstraZeneca vaccine of its “poorer reputation”, which had led to increased scrutiny of the government’s Pfizer procurement offer.
“In terms of requiring extra Pfizer supplies, it’s a little difficult to make the case for a rich nation with very few cases to take limited supply from developing countries with thousands of daily deaths,” he said.
Sir. Chester said the rollout will continue to accelerate as more Pfizers arrive in Australia.
“It took 45 days to vaccinate the first one million Australians, and one million doses have been administered in the last seven days,” he said.
This afternoon, Mr Morrison, who has been under fire for his stance on the rollout problems, apologized for the challenges the government has encountered.
“I am certainly sorry that we have not been able to achieve the grades we had hoped for at the beginning of this year,” he said.