Morning mail: vaccine hesitancy threatens herd immunity, Chauvin trial, gender parity decades away

Morning mail: vaccine hesitancy threatens herd immunity, Chauvin trial, gender parity decades away

The Guardian

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Thursday: Australia’s vaccine-hesitant populations need engagement for international borders to reopen. Plus: can a pain machine create empathy?

Good morning. Welcome back after the long weekend. Today we have plenty of Covid news, including Australia’s need to tackle vaccine hesitant populations and a round-up of international issues – including the French elite dining out despite restrictions.

Australia risks never achieving herd immunity to Covid-19 unless it ramps up its strategy for engaging with vaccine hesitant populations, health experts have warned. There are concerns Australia’s vaccine hesitancy rates – which were as high as 36% in mid-March – will remain high without early and intense targeting of hesitant groups. Herd immunity could require 65%-90% of the population to be vaccinated, and will likely be required before international borders reopen. Stephen Duckett, health program director at the Grattan Institute, said Australia’s efforts to engage and persuade vaccine-hesitant residents needed to be greater than foreign countries because of our reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been acknowledged as the “likely” cause of a blood clot in a Victorian man last week.

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