Brought to you by Newscorp Australia

Big thrill when coronavirus vaccine arrived

Mark Knight, February 18, 2021 6:30PM Kids News

Print Article

Health Minister Greg Hunt during a media conference on COVID-19 and the Australian Government's vaccination program in Parliament House in Canberra on February 15. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage media_cameraHealth Minister Greg Hunt during a media conference on COVID-19 and the Australian Government's vaccination program in Parliament House in Canberra on February 15. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

health

Reading level: green

The World Health Organisation said the greatest weapon against the coronavirus would be a vaccine to inoculate* the world’s populations against the virus.

However, making vaccines is a long process that takes years of laboratory tests and trials. Governments wanted a viable* vaccine within a year. A tough ask.

But here we are a little over 14 months since COVID-19 first came to our attention and vaccines are being rolled out around the world.

The Australian Minister for Health Greg Hunt said that making a successful vaccine and getting it to the public was like the Moon landings back in the 1960s. A gigantic scientific achievement.

Finally the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Australia this week to much fanfare*. I felt it was a good topic for a cartoon and I had an idea on how I would comment on it.

One of the things we have all become used to during the last year of lockdowns and restricted living conditions is shopping online. Social distancing meant that a lot of retail businesses switched from having customers come in to their stores to having them shop online and having the goods shipped to the buyer. It became so successful that a lot of stores went completely online and closed their bricks and mortar shops. And the advantage was people could buy from retailers all over the world, and do it from their living rooms on their phones or computers.

I jokingly wondered if this is how the Australian government might have purchased its Pfizer vaccine from overseas.

When I saw the excitement on the Health Minister’s face as he announced the arrival of the vaccines in Australia, it reminded me of the thrill members of my family get when a package arrives with something they have purchased on the internet! Maybe I could use that?

My idea was coming together. The cartoon would be a humorous comparison of our government’s billion-dollar vaccine purchase and subsequent* airlift to Australia with the everyday experience of buying something over the internet and having it delivered.

I drew an Australia Post worker on his little red motorbike pulling up to Greg Hunt’s letterbox and placing the package of vaccines in the parcel slot.

The crucial part of the cartoon was how do I illustrate the Minister’s excitement at receiving his package? A big smile was not enough, I needed something more, something very exaggerated!

That’s when I remembered an old saying ‘doing cartwheels’, which referred to someone being so excited they performed the gymnastic manoeuvre*. Yes, that was it!

So Greg Hunt is pictured not walking out to his letterbox to collect his delivery but he is so excited he is turning cartwheels … with a big grin for added measure!

Mark Knight's Pfizer vaccine cartoon. media_cameraMark Knight’s Pfizer vaccine cartoon. Right-click on the image to open in a new tab.

Just like the general public who are thrilled when their online purchases actually turn up on their doorstep, so was the Health Minister with his purchase of the all important COVID vaccine.

And let’s hope that unlike some internet purchases we receive, it actually works!

GLOSSARY

  • inoculate: treat with a vaccine
  • viable: capable of working successfully
  • fanfare: celebration
  • subsequent: coming after; following
  • manoeuvre: movement or series of moves requiring care and skill

EXTRA READING

How does the coronavirus vaccine work?

Vaccine maker ‘near ecstatic’ after study result

Cartoonist says sorry for taking the mickey

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Who are the two people in the cartoon?
  2. What is being delivered?
  3. Why was the topic in the news this week?
  4. Who drew the cartoon?
  5. Why is one person doing a handstand?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. What Happens Next?
Imagine this cartoon is part of a story, with one more part to the story to come before and one after this one. Draw one of the two missing cartoons that tells another part of the story.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
‘To be a great cartoonist, being able to draw is only one of the skills that you need.’

Write a list of all of the other skills that you think cartoonists like Mark need to do their job. Next to each skill, write a sentence that explains why that skill is important or helps them to do a great job.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Personal and Social Capability, Media Arts, Visual Communication Design

VCOP ACTIVITY
Describe It
Look at the cartoon and make a list of 5 nouns that you see. Then describe those 5 nouns with 5 adjectives.

Be specific and add where those nouns using prepositions and another noun.

Now choose your favourite bundle and put all the words together to make one descriptive sentence.

HAVE YOUR SAY: How much do you care about the vaccine arriving in Australia?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

Extra Reading in health