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Vaccine priorities



Dear Editor,
 
I am turning 69 soon, so I am not used to being told I am too young for - anything much. But according to the government’s rollout plan, I will be too young for the Phase 1 vaccine, which will be mostly the Pfizer dose, and will have to wait for Phase 2, which may be the less effective AstraZeneca jab.
 
Who’s getting Phase 1? Quarantine, healthcare, aged care and disability workers – quite right! Indigenous people over 55 and others over 70. Fine. High-risk workers – police, fire, defence and emergency services – yes, and give them a medal too. And meat processing workers – wait, what?
 
Killing animals is miserable, dangerous and poorly paid work in settings ideal for contagion, but it is certainly not an essential industry. The result of shutting down slaughterhouses and retraining the workers would be reduced pollution, improved public health and the end to the terror and agony of millions of animals every day. And because we know that around 75% of recently emerging infectious diseases affecting humans are transmitted from other species, and factory farms and slaughterhouses are ideal environments for propagation of new strains, we might just avoid unleashing the next pandemic too.
 
Desmond Bellamy
Special Projects Coordinator
PETA Australia
PO Box 2352
Byron Bay NSW 2481
0411 577 416
DesmondB@PETA.org.au