A recurrent mantra used by the Health Minister, Greg Hunt, and others, has been that the COVID-19 vaccination program is "a marathon not a sprint".
That trope was inverted earlier this week by Grattan Institute Health program director Dr Stephen Duckett who said authorities should be treating the race to get jabs into arms as a sprint rather than a marathon, and looking at setting up mass vaccination centres in large venues such as stadiums.
While Dr Norman Swan, the national broadcaster's health guru stopped short of calling for such centres on Tuesday he did make the telling point, popularised by a well known screen drama, that "winter is coming".
Although neither doctor is suggesting there has been a sense of complacency in the way the program has been delivered they are right in urging the authorities to get a wiggle on.
The reason for this was expressed by acting chief medical officer, Professor Michael Kidd, on Monday: "Although we currently have no cases of community in transmission in Australia, we are permanently at risk of being on the brink of another outbreak. There will be, inevitably, more cases of community transmission. Especially when our nation starts to open up further to the rest of the world".
Dr Duckett was on the same page when he said there were significant economic costs associated with the lower than expected vaccination rate. An example was the recent Brisbane lockdown sparked by a breakout from hotel quarantine.
Another issue is that up until this point the Australian community has been broadly satisfied with the public health response to the pandemic and, as a result, ready and willing to comply with the social distancing requirements and the advice and the recommendations of the experts.
The failure of the vaccination program to kick the goals that were initially set has the capacity to undermine public confidence in the process and to leave the gate open for anti-vaxxers and other mischievous elements to fill the growing information void with misinformation of their own.
It is unfortunate that in recent days the federal government has not only not been able to provide up-to-date vaccination figures, it has also been unable - or unwilling - to reveal how many doses of AstraZeneca CSL are providing or when production will reach the predicted rate of a million doses a week.
That said, it is pleasing to note federal authorities have accepted they won't be able to do the heavy lifting alone and are now welcoming initiatives by state and territory governments, including the ACT, to look at standing up more mass COVID-19 vaccination centres.
It is a refreshing change to the rather nonchalant "we've got this" response that initially greeted offers of assistance from the NSW and Queensland governments a little over a week ago.
That said, and to give the federal authorities proper credit, the issue at the moment is not about the need for more places at which vaccines can be administered. The real bottleneck is supply. There have been reports that some GP clinics which had geared up for thousands of inoculations a week have received only a fraction of the doses they were expecting.
While senior government figures, most recently the Prime Minister on Tuesday afternoon, have spoken at length about this, the lack of detail they have been able to provide on how and when things will improve does not instil confidence in the public.
If the government has a clear roadmap on how to ramp up vaccine production and distribution then now is the time to spell it out.