Lieutenant General John Frewen's interview on Sunrise on 25 October 2021

Read the transcript of Lieutenant General John Frewen's interview on Sunrise on 25 October 2021 about coronavirus (COVID-19).

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NATALIE BARR: Well, with more than 73 per cent of over 16's now double-jabbed, the Government has launched a new advertising blitz to encourage unvaxed Aussies to roll up their sleeves. It's a change of tack from previous hard-hitting campaigns, but it's hoped the Spread Freedom ad and the lure doing things we once took for granted, will get people over the line. Joining me now is Lieutenant General John Frewen, who's in charge of the vaccine rollout. Good morning to you.

JOHN FREWEN: [Talks over] Nat.

NATALIE BARR: Do you this new campaign will be enough to motivate Aussies who are holding back?

JOHN FREWEN: Yeah, Nat. Look, our vaccination numbers are looking really positive now, and I want to thank all of those Australians who've come forward. But this ad is really about that last 10 to 15 per cent now, just trying to, to get them over the line, and just to, to make that very clear link between vaccinations and the freedoms we really want to get back to.

NATALIE BARR: So- And they're doing well except for states like Queensland, and particularly WA who, I guess, think, you know, life is good, we don't need to be vaccinated. What's your message to them?

JOHN FREWEN: Yeah. So look, I've been, been talking to both the authorities and, and others in those states to say, you know, as we open up again, particularly in Victoria and New South Wales, there's going to be greater movement, and with greater movement will become, will be greater movement of the Delta variant. It moves quickly, we know it goes after the, the vulnerable. So we're really just trying to implore people in Queensland and WA to take the opportunity to get vaccinated now. We've got enough vaccines to double vaccinate everybody in the country. It's never been easier to, to get it done, but it does take about six weeks to get the full effect when you go through the first dose, second dose process, so I'm really saying to them, hey, now's the time to be ready before Christmas.

NATALIE BARR: In New South Wales, from December 1, unvaccinated people have the same rights, I guess, as the vaccinated. Is that a mistake? Should they be doing the same as Victoria and waiting until next year?

JOHN FREWEN: Yeah, look, that's, really, policy for New South Wales. I'm here to give everybody the opportunity to get vaccinated. We have got the vaccines, there's many, many ways people can get those vaccines really easily now. So I just, again, implore anybody who hasn't done it yet to, to please do so.

NATALIE BARR: Does that make your job harder though, because as Dan Andrews said, people will just wait?

JOHN FREWEN: Look, I think- we've seen people are still turning up. I think Australians have been quite remarkable in their willingness to get vaccinated and we are now down into that last 10 to 15 per cent that I spoke about, so, again, all of us, get the message out, get vaccinated and spread freedom.

NATALIE BARR: Okay. We thank you very much for your time.

JOHN FREWEN: Thanks, Nat.


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