The magic 80% will leave one third unvaccinated: what we’re ignoring in covid modelling

Susanna Freymark

In a nation of 25.69 million people, a third of us will be unvaccinated when we hit the 80% target.

80% sounds better than two thirds. It sounds safer.

New Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the state would open up on Monday, with only a 70% vaccination rate, and he said he would be focussing on economic recovery measures.

If you thought life was going to go back to  some kind of ‘normal’ when Australia hit 70-80% vaccination rate, the Australia Institute has some bad news.

Researchers Matt Saunders and Richard Denniss have looked at the Doherty modelling which is what the Federal and State governments have based their ‘road map’ on and the outlook is grim.

“… even if Australia waits until 80 per cent of adults have been vaccinated before lifting restrictions of movement it is likely that by early next year around 40,000 Australians per day will be infected with COVID-19,” the What the Doherty Modelling really tells us about opening up at 80 per cent vaccination report stated.

“This is because … a vaccination target of 80 per cent of adults means that 9.2 million Australians will still be unvaccinated, and the modelling finds that the virus will move rapidly through those millions of unvaccinated Australians.”

With the government planning to open up at 70% vaccination rate, the Doherty modelling forecasts that around 380,000 people will become infected in the first six months after ‘opening up’.

Of these cases, the modelling predicts over 12,000 people will be hospitalised and there will be about 1,400 deaths.

How will hospitals in the country regions of the state cope with the increased hospital admissions?

The Doherty modelling also makes clear that, even after 80% of adults are vaccinated, lockdowns will still be a common feature in Australia, that large numbers of days will be lost to illness and quarantine and over 760 deaths are expected from the virus.

Yes, it’s grim.

Under the most realistic scenarios, the Doherty modelling predicts that stay at home orders will still be a regular experience for many up to 46% of the time.

COVID: Testing clinic set up at Kyogle hospital for long weekend

To ensure stay at home orders are a thing of the past the effectiveness of the public health ‘test, trace, isolate, quarantine’ regime needs to be as good as it was when cases were close to zero, the report stated.

There is so much more to discuss from this report and you can read it in full at the link below.

Life with covid is here to stay if the Doherty modelling is accurate.

There will be booster shots, changes in vaccines to cope with covid mutations and much more.

There will further tensions in our lives between the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

We will learn to live with covid – because we have to.

How we live with each other is our choice.

Read the full What the Doherty Modelling really tells us about opening up at 80 per cent vaccination report – opens in new tab

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