Tue. May 17th, 2022

coronavirus, covid-19, covid, handling lockdown, canberra lockdown, vaccination rate canberra, vaccination rate australia, professor Peter Collignon, pfizer

An infectious disease expert in Canberra expects the city to be one of the most vaccinated in the world, although it is unlikely to affect 100 percent of the vaccinated population. “My expectation is that we will be one of the best vaccinated in the world because of the numbers I have already seen,” said Professor Peter Collignon. The area reached 96 percent of the population aged 12 and over on Thursday with a first dose, as thousands continue to make their first bookings. A double-dose vaccination rate of 95 percent is “as good as you could ever expect,” Professor Collignon said. “One hundred percent I do not think is realistic, because there are some people who I think have made a bad decision, but they … will not be vaccinated,” he said. “And I don’t think you can force those people to be vaccinated. We can try to persuade them, but there are probably about four or five percent of people we don’t want to persuade.” MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Health Secretary Rachel Stephen-Smith said vaccine skeptics represented “a very small number” in the ACT. “It’s probably mostly about people who just have not quite reached it yet, or the very small number of the population who are hesitant about vaccines, or some people who are facing barriers to entry,” she said. Adolescents ages 12 to 15 make up some of the unvaccinated, most of whom have only had access for a few weeks, but their enrollment has been “really high,” the health minister said. “We know that there are groups in our community that, for one reason or another, face an obstacle to access to general health care,” Stephen-Smith said. “They may not trust the government, they may not feel comfortable, they may have a hard time making a reservation that we have demanded to date.” Ms Stephen-Smith said the ACT government was working through its Equity and Access program to reach these people. “Therefore, we have the right focus to ensure that everyone in the ACT community has the opportunity to be vaccinated before we start opening up,” she said. NSW hit 70 percent of the population double-vaccinated on Wednesday, triggering greater freedoms for the state from Monday. The ACT has reported the percentage of eligible population vaccinated since Sept. 20 and has broken shape from the federal government and other jurisdictions reporting the 16 and older. “Like NSW, we have reached the 70 per cent double dose milestone for Canberrans aged 16 and over, but we are focused on the entire eligible population aged 12 or over, which will take a few more days to reach this benchmark.” Stephen-Smith said the government would follow the situation in NSW closely as restrictions were eased, especially southern NSW, which had experienced several cases in recent weeks and which is dependent on intensive capacity in Canberra. MORE COVID-19 NEWS: Meanwhile, Southern Canberra had a double-vaccinated rate of 78 percent of residents over the age of 16 at the start of the week compared to Northern Canberra’s 58 percent. 41 new cases of COVID-19 were reported, including another baby attached to the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. On Wednesday, a baby in the hospital’s special care nursery tested positive after showing symptoms of the virus Tuesday night. A team member and two caregivers who had visited the nursery also tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total cluster to five. The source of infection for the cluster is still under investigation and 28 healthcare professionals are in quarantine for 5-14 days as a result. Stephen-Smith said none of the babies were in critical condition, but one had been moved to a COVID ward. Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this outbreak of COVID-19 in ACT and lockdown is free for all to access. However, we rely on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you can, you can subscribe here. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support. You can also sign up for our regular newsletter. Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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