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No, it’s not a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’. It still threatens us all.

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After a heart bypass Dad was in ICU for four days and in hospital for seven, and I reached peak dread.

— Kate Hennessy

TWO PHRASES STOOD out at the start of the American summer. On social media it was “hot vax summer” while in regular media it was “pandemic of the unvaccinated”, the latter coined by Joe Biden and CDC director Rochelle Walensky.

The second phrase caught on in Australia too. ​​“Biden’s right,” Westmead Institute for Medical Research virologist Tony Cunningham told the ABC on 17 August, “it’s becoming a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’.”

When I got my second jab in mid June — in “limo guy” week in Sydney — I hadn’t heard the phrase yet, but similar ideas were brewing in my group chats as we began to grapple with the antivaxxers popping up; not in anecdotes from Mosman or Mullumbimby but in our own personal and professional circles.

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