Opinion: Sydneysiders can see light at end of city's Covid tunnel

Despite its ongoing battle with the Delta variant of Covid, New South Wales is well and truly on the right track with its vaccine rollout.

A Sydney street in lockdown.

The daily case numbers may seem dreary, but the amount of people booking in, and rolling up their sleeves for a jab has surged in recent weeks.

On a personal level, I can tell you it’s the light at the end of the tunnel that’s desperately needed right now.

Just yesterday, NSW crossed a massive milestone, with more than 6,000,000 doses of vaccine administered. It’s a threshold that’ll mean fully immunised residents will be granted yet-to-be-announced freedoms in September.

I’m hoping for haircuts, but nine weeks into this lockdown, I’ll take anything.

While just over 32 per cent percent of the state‘s eligible population is fully vaccinated, it’s on target to have 70 per cent with double doses by October.

That’s the magic number that’ll see widespread restrictions for immunised residents rolled back, and life will start to return to normal.

Having proof you’ve had a dose of Pfizer or AstraZeneca will be an important part of this.

On Monday, I spent three hours on the phone to MediCare, Australia’s health insurance scheme, getting my digital vaccine certificate loaded onto my phone.

It’s a great piece of tech, that just sits in your Apple Wallet, and can be pulled up after just a few swipes. From October, I’m expecting it’ll be needed to enter bars, cafes and even some stores.

However, it‘ll also start to expose the divide between vaccinated residents, and the non-vaccinated.

The legality of refusing the unvaccinated service is a grey area, but it’s one Australia will have to confront in the very near future.

Incentives for vaccinated Australians aren’t anything new. There’s legislation where parents who haven’t immunized their kids against the basics, like measles, can lose some of the family tax rebate.

Whether people are just as accepting of showing their immunisation certificate as their driver license at the local pub, remains to be seen.