In the latter half of 2020, many believed that a COVID-19 vaccine and subsequent vaccination program would be a critical step towards the recovery of Australia’s economy.
Despite the delay in the vaccine production and vaccination rollout, the economic outlook for Australia has been recovering unprecedentedly across many sectors, regardless of being in the first recession it’s faced in over thirty years.
Australia’s economic recovery forecast (MYEFO 20-21) in December predicted that Australians would be receiving a population-wide vaccination program by the end of 2021. Vaccinations began rolling out in March 2021, but delays in vaccine production, risks and side effects have moved things along more slowly than previously predicted.
The COVID-19 vaccination program commenced with many front line health workers and those in the at-risk demographic receiving their first vaccination dose in the initial rollout. After some side effects and potential health concerns were noted from the Astrazeneca vaccine, the program was delayed pending investigation.
There are concerns that delaying the COVID-19 vaccine rollout once again could impact on continued economic growth for Australia, especially as it moves towards winter and the impact of potential lockdowns loom with outbreaks across the states.
Without the much-needed jab and with COVID-19 cases still being recorded across Australian states, the suppression tactics that were employed in 2020 may not be as effective in this coming year. Pending potential lockdowns, the loss of wage subsidy schemes like JobKeeper could result in serious consequences for jobs.