Despite widespread support from families and medical professionals, it has taken Daniel Andrews over five months to match the Liberal Nationals policy for free flu vaccinations for Victorian children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years.
Influenza is a deadly disease, and nearly 50,000 Victorians suffered from it last year alone. Young children can be particularly vulnerable, with 3,941 cases of influenza in kids under 5 in 2017, a 450% increase from the year before.
Increasingly Daniel Andrews was isolated from his State colleagues as Western Australia, Queensland and more recently New South Wales who are all delivering free flu vaccinations to keep their children safe.
But instead of committing to protect Victorian children Daniel Andrews repeatedly criticised the Liberal Nationals policy and tried to pass the buck to others.
This is the right outcome for Victorian children but it beggars belief that Daniel Andrews has taken so long to follow the Liberal Nationals lead.
Daniel Andrews must now promise that free flu vaccinations for kids are ongoing for the years to come and not just a cynical one-off, election year commitment.
It’s a shame that Daniel Andrews’ first instinct is to play politics and duck-shove responsibility to others rather than have the interests of Victorian children as his priority.