More than 34 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered to Australians as the country’s most populous states leap towards major vaccine milestones.
As the capital of Victoria enjoys its first weekend outside of lockdown, the state has reached its first dose target of 90 percent among those aged 16 and over, with 73.1 percent fully vaccinated.
Victoria could hit 80 percent full vaccination in less than a week, allowing for more liberties.
About 93 percent of NSW residents over the age of 16 have received their first dose of a vaccine, of which 84.4 percent are fully vaccinated.
However, health authorities in both states encourage fully vaccinated people to continue to show up for testing if they experience symptoms of coronavirus.
NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said vaccination was “very effective”, but not perfect, and breakthrough infections can still occur.
ACT leads as the most vaccinated jurisdiction, with 86 percent of residents over the age of 12 now fully vaccinated, as Canberra’s dealers enjoy their first trading weekend in months.
Meanwhile, Western Australia and Queensland are still lagging behind in the rollout of vaccines.
Sunshine State on Saturday passed 60 percent full vaccination for over 16 years, while WA sits at 58.9 percent.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook hit back at “the language that we are trifles” when he predicted the state would hit 80 percent double doses in mid-December.
“We are doing good work in Western Australia and now we must continue to do more,” he said.
Asked whether state borders will open by Dec. 25, Cook said he did not want to “ruin Christmas” by making “dangerous decisions.”
“We are looking at early in the new year in terms of relying less on our border controls,” he said.
Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein has highlighted plans for the island state to reopen its borders, with travelers allowed from 15 December.