Canada Association of Tourism Employees

The well being of Australia aviation

In a live interview, Peter Harbison of the CAPA – Center for Aviation speaks to Professor Michael Kidd, AM, the Acting Chief Medical Officer of the Australian Department of Health, to discuss what is happening to the health of Australia and the aviation industry.

  1. When will Australia reach a vaccination phase where people are safe from a health point of view to travel the world?
  2. In Australia and other parts of the world, travel has been severely restricted as a result of the pandemic.
  3. In Australia, vaccines were introduced as part of an emergency regime.

During an interview on the impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus on the country, and especially Australian aviation, Professor Kidd spoke about this incredibly disruptive year.

The interview begins with Peter Harbison of the CAPA – Center for Aviation, who warns Professor Kidd that he will be uncomfortable. Read or hear what the professor had to say.

Peter Harbison:

So I’m going to grill you for about half an hour and make you as uncomfortable as possible as we all have to suffer. But what I mainly want to focus on, Michael, is obviously the aviation perspective. There are many other issues that are both completely uncertain and a bit safer, but if I could start a few months into the future I might not know how many, by when the vaccinations are reasonably good -distributed in both Australia and Australia also internationally.

We’ve heard a lot of discussions about airlines saying if they would require everyone on board the plane to be vaccinated, which for me is a bit annoying in many ways because for one thing it’s only part of the total trip trip anyway, but I think more important to dissect outgoing and incoming. When will we reach a vaccination phase in Australia in which you can feel free from a health point of view and say: “Yes, you can travel around the world.” What are the hurdles for this? What are the requirements and how long do you think it will take, given the expected rollout we have now?

Michael Kidd:

So this is a very complex question. Obviously we already have people coming to Australia from overseas but of course they have to be quarantined upon arrival and we have people who are leaving Australia with exceptions to travel overseas. But in Australia and other parts of the world, travel has apparently been severely restricted as a result of the pandemic, and we do not know exactly how long it will be before we can return to a level of normality with travel. Obviously the vaccines will make a difference, but of course vaccination programs are only just beginning in overseas countries. In Australia, vaccines were introduced as part of an emergency regime. We just got the Pfizer vaccine approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. We’re still waiting for the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Australia. We anticipate people will stop receiving these vaccines towards the end of this month, in February, but introduction to the entire adult population in Australia is expected to take place by October this year.

And of course we don’t yet have vaccines approved for use in children. The Pfizer vaccine can be used in people aged 16 and over. However, this means that we are currently unable to immunize a very significant percentage of our population and a significant percentage of those who will be seated on airplanes. What we do know about the vaccines is that from the clinical trials and the other data presented, they prevent the development of serious illness from COVID-19 and death, but there are quite a number of things we do not know. We don’t know if you have been vaccinated, whether you may still be infected with COVID-19, are asymptomatic but are still at risk [inaudible 00:04:31] the other people. We don’t know how long the immunity you get from vaccination will last. We don’t know for people who have been infected with COVID-19, and there are over 28,000 Australians who have recovered from COVID-19. We don’t know how long this immunity will begin for us.

So right now there are quite a few unknowns, but of course, like last year during this pandemic, we are learning more and more every day, and so hopefully things will become clearer when our nation program rolls over in the coming months, though even if we gain more and more experience of the events overseas, especially in those countries where vaccines have been introduced for two to three months.

Post a Comment

You don't have permission to register