Sumary of With half the country in lockdown, Australia’s prime minister apologizes for slow vaccine rollout.:
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia apologized on Thursday for delays in the country’s vaccine program, amid mounting pressure to take responsibility with half the population in lockdown because of outbreaks driven by the Delta variant.
- “I’m certainly sorry we haven’t been able to achieve the marks we had hoped for at the beginning of the year, of course I am,” Mr. Morrison said at a news conference.
- ”At the beginning of the year, Mr. Morrison had said that he aimed to vaccinate everyone who wanted the shots by the end of October.
- Mr. Morrison said the program had picked up pace and that rate was now 15 percent, with 36 percent having received at least one dose, according to government statistics.
- Mr. Morrison’s comments as New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, reported 124 new community cases — its highest daily total so far — in its fourth week of lockdown.