What about the booster shots?
With the current attention on the COVID vaccination rollout suggesting the target of an 80% take-up rate (or even 70%) will facilitate greater movement within the community, a question must be asked about preparations for the rollout of vaccination boosters. Hopefully it is being asked at the very highest levels, because it is definitely being talked about among the rank and file.
There is every likelihood that by the time the initial vaccination rollout has reached the levels for states to open up, the most vulnerable people in society — the elderly and the immuno-compromised who had their jabs earlier than most — will no longer be at the optimum level of protection.
Their risk might suddenly increase again with more people on the move and more establishments back open.
There is need for details of a vaccination booster plan that will take this risk into account with the onset of the path out of lockdowns.
Services Australia and Geoscience Australia linked in more ways than one
A Services Australia building in Greenway in the ACT was recently added to the COVID exposure sites across Canberra.
While this has been reported, what is not as widely known is that the alarm also spooked the Geoscience Australia building in Symonston, 20 kilometres away.
Since last year, Services Australia has leased a whole section of the Geoscience Australia building as Centrelink call centre demands grew along with the pandemic.
With travel between the two Services Australia sites a regular occurrence for some, both buildings were thrust into a higher level of protection and vigilance.
Afghan staff now in Australia — well at least some are
The Mandarin, like everyone, has heard some horrific stories out of Afghanistan over the past weeks. But we are pleased to note that there are now former Afghan interpreters and security guards who have made it successfully from Kabul to Australia and are in different stages of being settled in various parts of the country.
There are still, however, a group of former guards and embassy staff who remain in Kabul, with legal teams having worked tirelessly through the details of how to try and get them out and help them into a new life in Australia.
Immigration requirements haven’t made the task easy. The very form the former embassy guards and staff needed to fill in to get the appropriate visa had to be completed on hard-copy paper and submitted: neither those seeking a new life in Australia nor their immigration agents could fill that form out online. More than one advocate has suggested that the bureaucracy was doing its best to discourage people.