The Albanese Labor Government is at odds with doctors nationwide, who feel the impact of a severe shingles vaccine shortage amidst a halting rollout.
Health Minister Mark Butler has tried to pretend there is nothing to see here, denying any shortage of Shingrix - the shingles vaccine promised by the Government to around 5 million older Australians.
But it has become clear that the Minister’s rhetoric is entirely misleading, as doctors report having to halt patients’ first doses due to the shortages and state governments cry out for support.
Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care, Senator Anne Ruston, said that the Government made a clear commitment to roll out the shingles vaccine to Australians over the age of 65, and it is clear from on-the-ground reports that this commitment is not going to plan.
“The Health Minister has been missing in action on this issue since Christmas. He is still on holiday when it comes to this rollout.
“It is the Government’s responsibility to procure the appropriate number of vaccines to fulfil their promise to older Australians. If they have failed to do so, then we need transparency and honesty about this so that health practitioners can make appropriate arrangements,” Shadow Minister Ruston said
Shingles is a debilitating condition that affects one in three Australians in their lifetime, and it can have a devastating impact on the lives of those affected.
Instead of hiding this issue from the Australian public, the Albanese government must step up and be transparent about any problems with the rollout and what action they are taking to fix it.