Covid-19: 95% Australians jabbed with first dose, fatalities continue to rise

Greg Hunt, Australia’s health minister, claims that 95 percent of Australians aged 16 and older have had their first dose of vaccination, and that the Omicron epidemics in New South Wales, Victoria, and the ACT are nearing their peak.

On Saturday, Victoria reported 23 Covid deaths and 25,526 new infections, while NSW reported 20 deaths and 48,768 new infections. In NSW, there were 2,576 individuals in hospital with Covid, 193 of whom were in intensive care. There were 1,054 people in Victoria’s hospital with the condition, with 115 of them in intensive care.

Domestic travellers in Queensland, where documentation of a negative Covid test was no longer necessary as of 1 a.m. on Saturday, reported six Covid deaths, including one in their twenties, and 19,709 new cases.

A 40-year-old woman from Darwin’s Bagot Aboriginal village was the Northern Territory’s second death of the pandemic. There have been 412 new cases reported throughout the territory, with 32 persons admitted to hospitals, none of whom are in intensive care.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reported 1,320 new Covid cases, with 30 persons admitted to hospitals and three in intensive care. There were 1,139 new coronavirus infections recorded in Tasmania, with 22 persons in hospital with Covid, including one in intensive care.

Paul Kelly, the chief medical officer, said there were evidence that the Omicron outbreaks in NSW, Victoria, and the ACT were nearing their peak.

“All projections, as well as real forecasting based on actual numbers of cases, notably in NSW but also in Victoria and the ACT, led me to believe that we are nearing the apex of this wave in terms of cases,” he said.

He did say, however, that due to testing system pressures, the true number of instances was likely larger than what was recorded.

Western Australia, he claimed, was “another storey” due to border controls.

“It will be later on when they start getting cases,” he said. “However, for the majority of Australia, we are still on that increasing curve, we may be plateauing, and then there will be a downswing of instances.”

“Often referred to as a full vaccination level,” Hunt said, the 95 percent first-dose vaccination rate is “often referred to as a full vaccination level, but we want to go beyond.”

Since becoming eligible on Monday, 255,000 children aged five to 11 have gotten their first dose, resulting in a 92.5 percent double-dose vaccination rate in Australians aged 16 and over.

According to Hunt, 4.86 million Australians have got a booster dose of a vaccination, with uptake being faster than the initial and second doses.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is anticipated to make a judgement on the Novavax Covid vaccine, which is not yet available in Australia, “in the coming 10 days,” according to Hunt.

When asked if a second booster shot will be given in Australia, Hunt said the government would follow medical advice and was keeping an eye on booster programmes in other nations.

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