Morning mail: vaccine rollout begins, Melbourne doctors under fire, what next for Facebook?
Monday: Frontline healthcare workers, hotel quarantine staff and aged care and disability staff and residents in line for jab from today. Plus: inside the battle to restore Christchurch’s cathedral
Good morning – Covid-19 vaccines have started in Australia, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open, and a group of Melbourne doctors are being investigated for promoting unproven Covid treatments. It’s Imogen Dewey with the news headlines on Monday 22 February.
Australia’s long-awaited vaccine rollout began at a suburban medical clinic in Sydney yesterday, with a second world war survivor first in the queue. About 1.4m doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be rolled out for phase 1a of the federal government’s program, which includes frontline healthcare and quarantine workers, and aged care and disability home residents and staff. (Phase 1b, with about 14m doses, is much wider and won’t begin until later this year.) As Queensland and South Australia start their programs today, the latter’s leader is urging the public to ignore anti-vaccination “propaganda”. Mention of the vaccine sparked boos from the crowd last night at the tennis; in one presenter’s words, “just embarrassing”. Even so, the government is pulling paid ads for their major campaign to increase vaccine confidence off Facebook as they prepare to debate the mandatory news media bargaining code this week – opting instead for “other platforms and traditional media” to combat public health misinformation.