The word "milestone" has been thrown around a lot in recent days. In many ways it has become the new "unprecedented" when it come to talking about Tasmania's road to recovery. But perhaps of all the milestones already reached, there is probably nothing that will surpass the significance of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. But it was never going to go perfectly to plan.
This week the disconnect between governments - federal and state - along with health departments and primary health came to a head in a very public way. On Wednesday morning Tasmanians awoke to reports that they were now able to book in for a vaccine, with GPs participating in Phase 1b of the rollout. Soon, practices across Australia were inundated with patients scrambling to book in for an AstraZeneca jab.
The catch was that most GPs were just as confused about the rollout as the general public seemed to be. This was further heightened considering the majority of providers had yet to receive their dose of the vaccine, and were certainly not in a position to start taking bookings.
It didn't take long for doctors to hit back, with calls for better communication from the government about the vaccine rollout process - with fears the hasty campaign had contributed to unrealistic expectations that health professionals were now trying to live up to.
What is clear, is that the vaccine rollout is going to be slow and steady. The government has made a guarantee that every Tasmanian will receive a vaccine, but it is not going to happen overnight. That being said, it is reassuring to know that the majority of Tasmanians - based on the sheer number who picked up the phone on Wednesday to try and book - are keen to receive a vaccination.
As we continue to move forward over the next few months, it's important to keep some perspective on what is a logistical nightmare for all involved. One of the best things we can all do is inform ourselves. And, if we are going to call on government and health authorities to be clearer in their communication - it's imperative that we, on the other end of the message, listen and act accordingly.
As a state we have done a great job of this so far, but the battle isn't over yet.
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