Today host Ally Langdon blasts 'messy' vaccine rollout

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Today host Allison Langdon pulled no punches when it came to sharing her opinion on the latest setbacks in the Australian government's infamously bungled rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Channel Nine star took aim at the country's 'bickering' officials for 'politicising' the vaccine program, which she branded 'a proper mess' during a discussion with Professor Bill Bowtell on Thursday morning.

Allison Langdon interviews Professor Bill Bowtell on the Today Show
Today host Allison Langdon has lashed out at the government's 'messy' vaccine rollout while interviewing Professor Bill Bowtell. Photo: Channel Nine

"This rollout has been a proper mess," she said as Prof. Bowtell, who was an adviser to former Prime Minister Paul Keating, nodded in agreement.

"We have our politicians and our chief health officers all bickering with each other, they can't agree on anything and we're stuck in the middle as this is all being politicised. We're wondering what we should do."

Ally's fiery comments follow a confusing few days for Aussies, who were told by PM Scott Morrison on Monday night that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe for under 40s — only to have Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urge her constituents not to listen to him.

Mr. Morrison's surprise backflip on previous advice that AstraZeneca was suitable for over 40s only was also news to GPs, who say they weren't informed that they'd be in charge of dispensing the vaccine.

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'Who do we listen to?'

Ally referenced the widespread confusion caused by the conficting advice and the resulting lack of clarity during such a crucial time.

"We've got 12 million Australians in lockdown right now, we know the only way out of this it to get people vaccinated but who should we be listening to here? Is it the GPs? Our health officers? The regulators? Our politicians?" she asked.

"And should we be trusting young people to just go and talk to their doctor and make an informed decision?" she added.

The response from Prof. Bowtell, who led Australia's response to the 1980s AIDS crisis, was clear.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk takes off her face mask to speak during a press conference on June 29, 2021 in Brisbane, Australia
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk contradicted the prime minister's endorsement of the AstraZeneca vaccine for under 40s on Monday. Photo: Getty Images.

"We need the AstraZeneca [vaccine]. It is very important people go to their GPs and discuss that," he said.

"It is certainly safe for use. I've had my first shot. Happy to have the second one. But we've got to get on with it now, we're in a serious position," he added.

Prof. Bowtell went on to point the finger at the 'leaky hotel quarantine system' and a communication breakdown between the national cabinet and chief health officer committee as the root of the vaccine 'chaos'.

"We are facing a very serious crisis," he said. "We've got to get a grip. There's got to be some order restored to the chaos that's enveloping the technical and medical advice side of this."

Star's slam the vaccine rollout

Ally isn't the only famous face to criticise the government's handling of the vaccine rollout.

Also on Thursday morning, Sunrise host David 'Kochie' Koch revealed his apparent frustration during a heated chat with Finance Minister Simon Birmingham.

"We should have confidence in our politicians," Kochie told Mr. Birmingham. "They are undermining the vaccine program. It's frustrating, it is dangerous.

"Why isn't everyone on the same page?"

Earlier in the week, host of The Bachelor and The Masked Singer, Osher Günsberg branded Mr. Morrison's efforts, "a masterclass in terrible planning and woeful messaging mixed with confusing and ineffective execution".

And on June 24, Sunrise host Nat Barr confronted the prime minister about why Australia only had around 7 million people with some form of vaccination at the time, while the US had over 177 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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"We have got states around Australia closing their borders," she stated. "And holidays ruined and hundreds of millions of dollars of businesses in disarray today. What are we doing wrong?"

In response, Mr. Morrison compared Australia's progress with the UK's, highlighting that while the UK's vaccination rate is far higher, it's still recording over 10,000 Covid cases a day unlike Australia.

"Yes, we will get outbreaks from time to time and we will deal with those outbreaks, but it would be a mistake to think that if you get high rates of vaccination that you won’t get cases. The UK is proving the exact opposite of that," he replied.

According to the latest figures from the Department of Health, 7.8 million vaccine doses have been administered and there are 317 active Covid cases nation-wide.

NSW has recorded its biggest spike of locally acquired Covid-19 cases in four days, with an additional 24 infections announced on Thursday.

Seven cities including Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Darwin, Townsville, the Gold Coast and, most recently, Alice Springs are currently in lockdown.

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