Oz Blog News Commentary

The percentage of lies

July 19, 2021 - 10:39 -- Admin

The kerfuffle over Morrison’s brain fart, in which he attempted to squash the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s (ATAGI) advice that under 60s should not have the AstraZeneca vaccine has been well documented in several places and I wrote an essay on it around the time I had my first dose of that vaccine1.

Morrison’s brain-fart was an attempt to increase the rate of vaccination, to try to make less obvious his failure to order enough of the more expensive vaccines for Australia when he had the opportunity in July 2020. If that promotion of the AstraZeneca vaccine for younger people for his benefit was at the expense of a few young people dying from clotting, so be it. There was also one other item during this kerfuffle which made me scratch my head. At the time, the useless Greg Hunt maintained that 7.2% of the population had been vaccinated. As I said at the time, this was a lie1. However, the way this lie is constructed has made its way far beyond Hunt’s ramblings.

The standard (dare I say ‘gold standard’) practice for reporting the vaccination rate is as a proportion of the entire population who have been vaccinated, either with one dose or two. This is how ‘Our World in Data’ (OWiD) report it and it used to be the way Australia did so, until people realised that our vaccine rollout was in fact a ‘strollout’, lagging far behind many other countries. When Hunt stated that by the end of June 29 we would have 7.2% of the population vaccinated, he was likely referring only to the proportion of those over the age of 16 who would be vaccinated. At that date, according to OWiD, 5.8% of the entire population had been fully vaccinated2. At the time of the previous article, I said it was 4.8% realising that the OWiD data were a couple of days out of date. Despite this, by the end of June 29, it was not Hunt’s 7.2%.

I saw someone say online that 38% of the population has received one or two doses of vaccine. OWiD states that as of July 16 (2 days ago) 10% of the population had been given two doses, and another 18% had received one dose, a total of 28%, not 38%2. However, on the more up to date Australian (July 18) Covid19data site, it says that 39.2 doses have been delivered per 100 people3. Given that to be fully vaccinated, people must have two doses, the 38% figure is clearly a lie or, at best, an error. The Covid19data site shows that those having two doses in the various states and territories vary from 11.0% in Western Australia to 23.2% in the Northern Territory3. That also demonstrates that the 38% is equine ordure, but is a convenient lie for the government.