80% vaccination target – what does it really mean for Australia?

I’ve read the Doherty report on which the Federal government’s 4-phase plan is based. The modelling in that report is based on vaccination rates of 70 and 80%…of people 16 and older.

Hmm, I wonder how many children and teens there are under 16?

To find out, I went to the Australian Bureau of Statistics website and downloaded a spreadsheet of population data by age. This is what it looks like:

I added up the numbers [shown in red] the old fashioned way:

1,556,615 +
1,628,393 +
1,595,700 +
296,168 +

So, 5,106,876 out of a total population of 25,698,093 won’t be counted at all. AT. ALL. That’s a lot more than I was expecting.

Hmm, if we subtract all those kids from the total population, how many people are left?

25,698,093 –

So, only 20,591,217 Australians are actually eligible for the jab.

Hmm, how much is 80% of 20,591,217?

It’s 16,472,973 Australians. [I looked it up]

If we take that number away from the total population [ 25,698,093 ] it means that 9,225,120 Australians of all ages will remain unvaccinated. 9 million people who will be vulnerable to Delta when we reach 80% and the need for lockdowns becomes ‘unlikely’.

Unlikely? We’re going to throw over 9 million people under the Delta bus but yay, we won’t have to have lockdowns?

‘Oh, but kids don’t get that sick…’

At least 1,245 Indonesian children have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began, although the actual number is thought to be higher, given the low level of testing for the virus in remote areas.

The majority of those who died were under the age of five.

According to the Indonesian Paediatric Society (IDAI), more than 100 Indonesian children have died every week since July from COVID-19.


‘Oh, but those that refuse to be vaccinated have only themselves to blame…’

Almost five million people deserve to get sick and possibly die? What sort of a sick society are we?

And what about those for whom the vaccine doesn’t work? Oh…you didn’t think of that, did you?

You know when a vaccine is said to be 90% effective [e.g. Pfizer and Moderna], have you ever wondered what happens to the other 10%?

Well, for that 10% of people, the vaccine won’t work, or will only work partially. And AstraZeneca has an even lower effectiveness rate.

‘Oh…but herd immunity will take care of that!’

Herd immunity is ‘Abracadabra!’ the magic phrase that will solve all our problems. Except it won’t, not with Delta and this first generation of vaccines. Why? Because herd immunity works by surrounding unvaccinated people with a ‘fence’ of vaccinated people. That ‘fence’ stops Covid from being able to reach the unvaccinated people.

But what if there’s a hole in the fence?

In fact, there are two holes in the herd immunity fence. The first one is that breakthrough infections happen, and when they do, the fully vaccinated person is as infectious as if they hadn’t been vaccinated at all. The second is that this crop of vaccines do not provide permanent protection from transmission.

In fact, that protection looks as if it might wear off rather quickly after just four months. This basically means that the fully vaccinated could well end up infecting the unvaccinated themselves…which means:

There will be NO herd immunity.

In a year or two, there may well be vaccines that protect us from serious disease AND from infection. Only then will we finally achieve herd immunity.

Getting back to the Doherty report, their modelling included a number of assumptions based on data from March this year. Back in March, there was very little Delta circulating. Now, it’s running wild. Back in March, we were also delighted to discover that the vaccines provided good protection from transmission. Now we know that protection is short-lived.

Things have changed, but our politicians are still flogging the same plan. Living with Covid is smoke and mirrors with a generous dash of tricky numbers.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

23 responses to “80% vaccination target – what does it really mean for Australia?

  • mickmar21

    Data is malleable so it can be made to fit an argument.


    • acflory

      Data no, interpretation yes, especially with regard to how people /talk/ about the data. For example, I could say that ‘only 1% of X will equal Y’.
      Sounds like a negligible number, right? But when you look at the actual data, it’s the /size/ of the population that determines whether the number is negligible or not. I mean, 1% of 100 is 1, but what about 1% of 100,000,000?
      As most people have little understanding of either the data or the stats, it’s easy to manipulate them by using words that either reduce the impact of the data e.g. ‘it’s /only/ 1%’ or amplify it beyond where it should be.
      That’s why, wherever possible, I try to check a primary source – i.e. the actual data – rather than taking someone’s ‘interpretation’ of that data as fact.
      If that someone doesn’t provide a link for me to check, I’ll dismiss what they say as nothing more than opinion.
      We’re all entitled to our own opinions, just as we’re all entitled to our own beliefs, but no one is entitled to present those opinions or beliefs as fact.
      Words can be deadly.


  • daleleelife101.blog

    Meeks somehow you’ve been in my head! Thank you for doing all that math for me πŸ€“ We’re off to get out second Pzifer jab today. We’ll be fully vaccinated… party time. Hahaha… as if you believed that. Lockdown or no, we’ll be masked up AND social distancing, avoiding indoor public spaces and staying home as mich as possible just like we have been all along. Delta [and reading a couple of good articles] was the gamechanger for getting the jab for me. But there’s no magic bullet -so far or maybe ever- just a long road ahead where we need to think about others as much as ourselves… which I all too often think for habitually entitled selves is going to be a learning curve that matches the daily numbers…

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Gah! I’m so envious. The Offspring has had the Pfizer jabs because of health reasons but I only quality for AZ…and of course I hate the lack of choice AND I’m shit scared of becoming a statistic. -sigh- I guess I’ll be waiting a few months more. I am very glad you two are going to be fully vaccinated. More importantly, I’m very relieved that you’ll continue to take precautions. The next gen vaccines will hopefully last longer and be fully protective against transmission.
      Re that entitlement…oh yeah, long painful learning curve methinks.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Matthew Wright

    Here in NZ they just opened up vaccination for younger age groups. The government is pushing very hard for maximum vaccination and has made clear they won’t continue the policy of lockdown and exclusion indefinitely. It’s not hard to see where they are going – the problem being precisely what you’re talking about. While the vaccines certainly work, nobody knows how long they work for. And they won’t necessarily work for all. And breakthrough infections can happen. Also, there will always be a proportion of the population that hasn’t been vaccinated – or where their protection has run down to nothing. Like you, I think there will be better vaccines in the near future. I believe the current crop emerged quickly because they leveraged work done since 2003 over Sars-Cov-1, and I imagine improved Sars-Cov-2 vaccines will be quick to follow once there’s a good database of real-world outcomes to work from.

    All that said, it’s obvious to me that people should have the vaccine, irrespective, because they generally work, and Covid is a killer. I’ve always been careful about tetanus shots for the same reason – and it’s saved me (got slashed on the hand by a rose thorn, wound swelled up & my GP said ‘oh, that’s the tet shot working’).

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I hope the next-gen vaccines arrive soon because it looks as if wishful-thinking-modelling is giving govts ammunition for opening up. Over here the Fed. govt commissioned the Doherty report. Just have a look at this very indepth analysis of the actual report:
      View at Medium.com
      Scary, to say the least. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • robbiesinspiration

    The non-vaccination of children is a concern of mine too, Meeks. Michael is 15 and not eligible for a vaccination even though he is high risk. Greg is having his tomorrow (J&J). My mom is done (Phizer) and my dad, husband and I are all half vaccinated (also Phizer). Our domestic help and my sisters and Terence’s family are all vaccinated or half vaccinated. I hear what you are saying about people who chose not to vaccinate, but that is there right and all society can do is treat them if they become ill. We can’t live in constant lockdown, the negative impact on the youth is awful. Every second teenager is suffering from depression and is on medication for anxiety. It is such a difficult situation. Governments need to keep pushing out the facts about the vaccines so that people can make informed decisions. Here in South Africa, our less informed sections of the population are refusing to have it because they think it causes infertility.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Infertility? Gawd…where did that one come from? You know, I’m not so much angry at those who don’t vaccinate. I’m angry at those who have influence and abuse it by spreading baseless conspiracy theories.
      Came across something the other day that made my blood boil. Some woman in the UK – educated and articulate – spouting some cobbled together nonsense about the mRNA vaccines. A tiny bit of knowledge truly is a dangerous thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    Sometimes I think it’s a case of people just NOT getting that the old world is GONE, and no matter how many times they rearrange the deck-chairs on the Titanic, the bloody ship is still going to sink – and that scares the shit out of them, so much so that they would rather die on the alter of their willful denial than find the courage to become something greater than they could ever imagine themselves being.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Bette A. Stevens

    Sad story for humanity… Thanks for sharing your research stats, Meeks. Sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  • philosophermouseofthehedge

    Yes to your last paragraph.
    Data is tricky ( and we are not getting ALL the variables’ data, so it’s really difficult to interpret – unless you are a politician or the media …)
    My dad and his older brothers told stories about the Spanish Flu era. Unpredictable.
    Like then, some will live and some will die. You have to assess the risks and minimize them – and let others do the same for themselves. An old you can drag a horse to water, but making him drink…well, as farmers say, mules are smarter.
    Here the data concerning children is indicating RSV ( and several other respiratory viruses) is making kids sick more often than COVID. The 2 viruses present the same so it is tricky to diagnose which. ) The ones ending up in ICU with COVID tend to have preexisting conditions like obesity, diabetes, asthma (a big risk), chronic disease like Cystic fibrosis/cancer/transplant…
    Serious problem is that kids get very sick really fast and some parents are slow taking kids in to get checked.
    it is what it is. To understand COVID, we still need “Patient Zero” …and that’s not going to happen…neither is a clear presentation of bare facts (not interpretation/emotion) and that isn’t going to happen either.
    Get some sun, eat healthy, and stay away from people may be the best chance…although during the Spanish Flu, isolate rural farmers never could figure out how it managed to find them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      -grin- May I call you Mouse?
      This: ‘mules are smarter’. Thanks for making me smile.
      You’re right in what you say about protecting oneself. I’m on a pension so I /can/ self isolate, and have been doing so for over a year and a half.
      Sadly I’m realising how privileged that makes me. Most people can’t protect themselves so they need society to step up and protect them. That is the social contract.
      If that contract breaks down, ‘survival of the fittest’ would be ugly as 99.99% of us are anything but ‘fit’. Hard to believe I used to be an optimist.

      Liked by 2 people

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