The vaccination campaign in Australia entered the heart of the matter on Monday, not without controversy, especially on the sidelines of the Australian Open tennis tournament. Spectators loudly expressed their opposition on Sunday during the tournament’s closing ceremony.
Some 60,000 doses of vaccine are ready to be injected this week, with healthcare workers, police officers, employees of quarantine hotels and residents of homes for the elderly.
Australian television footage showed the first injections given to medical and quarantine staff in Sydney and Melbourne, the day after the vaccination received by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as part of a confidence-building operation population.
This launch was clouded, however, by anti-vaccine protests held in some major Australian cities and by hostile reactions from some spectators at the men’s tennis Open final on Sunday.
During the ceremony of handing over the trophy to the winner, Serbian Novak Djokovic, Australian tennis patron Jayne Hrdlicka was booed by some of the 7,500 spectators when she mentioned this vaccination campaign in the hope that it will allow restore normality in the conduct of sports competitions.
These spectators also expressed their disapproval when Ms Hrdlicka thanked the authorities in Melbourne and the State of Victoria for allowing the organization of the first of the Grand Slam tournaments of the year.
Despite these moody protests, some 80% of Australians have said they want to be vaccinated, polls show.
Australia has handled the epidemic relatively well so far, recording nearly 29,000 cases and 909 deaths in a population of 25 million. This vaccination campaign should be concluded by October, according to the government.
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