Australian state and territory leaders are competing to reach their COVID-19 vaccination goals as federal workers seek a final “reasonable debate” on vaccine paths.
The National Cabinet has agreed to set a second dose threshold of 70% and 80% to significantly reduce the possibility of blockade.
Over 1.7 million doses were given last week and a record 310,524 jabs were delivered nationwide on Friday.
Australia has fully vaccinated 29.6% of people over the age of 16 and 51.8% have received the first dose.
Meanwhile, New South Wales recorded 825 locally acquired cases on Saturday. This was the highest daily increase in any Australian state during a pandemic, killing three people.
When asked how people living under the blockade could have hope, Prime Minister Gladys Beresikirian told reporters that “the number of cases is increasing,” he said, saying that people should focus on the number of vaccinations. But the more important number that increases is the vaccination rate. “
“Vaccination rates are where we can look forward to living freely,” she added.
NSW currently gives 57.56% of eligible individuals a first dose and 30.81% a second dose.
The Victorian outbreak recorded 61 new cases on Saturday, blocking the province’s provincial region from 1 pm and joining Greater Melbourne.
Almost 50.43 percent of eligible Victorian people are currently vaccinated once and 29.37 percent are vaccinated twice.
“Our long-term strategy of being open, growing, hiring and in a very different world is for 80% of people to go through that vaccination program,” said Prime Minister Daniel Andrews. “You can now act on it now.”
ACT recorded eight new locally acquired cases on Saturday, with 102 cases occurring in the region.
Prime Minister Andrew Barr said the Australian Institute of Sport will open a new mass vaccination hub as vaccination clinics are booked until October.
Queensland has no records of new locally acquired cases of the virus, but the government is restless about its outbreak in New South Wales. Only exempt key workers who have been vaccinated at least once can cross the border.
Chief Health Officer Janet Young urged people to get a jab with 45.88 percent of eligible people taking one dose and 27.4 percent taking two doses.
She said that once the 80% target was achieved, her state would “probably” reopen in New South Wales and other parts of Australia, regardless of the outbreak. She said at that point the state would no longer pursue the eradication of COVID-19.
“Once released, the number of cases will not be zero. Of course, the number of cases will be zero. It will be a disease that we can manage,” Young said.
Federal Employment Minister Stuart Robert praised the pace of vaccine deployment.
“More than 900,000 vaccinations have been given in the last three days … 900,000,” he told reporters. “This is equivalent to 215 per minute. This is the extraordinary achievement rate that is being built.”
Robert said the federal government shared personal vaccination data with states and territories, but did not indicate that there was a federal plan for a vaccine path system.
“Whether vaccination certification data is used depends, of course, on state and territory public health orders, which is a matter of those states and territories,” he added.
Labor health spokesman Mark Butler said there should be a “reasonable debate” about passing the vaccine when the 70% target is achieved.
He said Qantas and several arts festivals have already reported that staff and patrons each need proof of vaccination.
“So we need to have that debate in Australia, just as we did in foreign countries,” he said. “But only about 20 percent of Australia’s population is fully vaccinated.”
Opposition protesters gathered on the streets of Melbourne on Saturday, and hundreds of people gathered at the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane to hear their opinions.
More than 1,500 officers have hampered efforts to demonstrate in central Sydney.