Chief minister has ‘absolute confidence’ vaccinations will nudge 100% in ACT

By Jackson Graham

Thursday September 30, 2021

Andrew Barr says the territory will get “very close” to its entire population being vaccinated as it continues to lead the national rollout. 
Andrew Barr says the territory will get “very close” to its entire population being vaccinated as it continues to lead the national rollout. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas)

ACT chief minister Andrew Barr says the territory will get “very close” to its entire population being vaccinated as it continues to lead the national rollout. 

It came as NSW recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic and Victoria its highest number of daily cases. 

The ACT had 89% of the population 16 years and over with a first dose on Wednesday and 63% fully vaccinated. 

“I can say with absolute confidence now that the ACT will get very close to 100%, closer than any other jurisdiction,” Barr said. 

“We’re not seeing vaccine hesitancy.”

He said one reason for the territory’s efficiency was that nurses at mass vaccination centres were able to extract seven doses from Pfizer vials while the commonwealth only expected six from each vial. 

“That’s why we have the most efficient program in the nation for delivery of the Pfizer vaccine,” Barr claimed. 

He also said the commonwealth had not been as ambitious about vaccination uptake with rollouts in other countries slowing past the 80% vaccination mark.

“We are already well in advance of 80% on the first dose, and we will cross over to 90% later this week, then we’ll get to 95%, and then I think we will get further,” Barr said. 

Victoria, which has 49% of the population fully vaccinated, on Wednesday foreshadowed it would decrease the interval for Pfizer doses from six weeks to three weeks once it had confirmation of supply. 

“We will lock them in the minute we possibly can, because everyone wants to bring forward those double-dose dates but we can’t do it at the expense of cancelling those first vaccination programs,” health minister Martin Foley said. 

The state recorded 950 new cases on Wednesday. 

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also called for further industries to have vaccination mandates before workers returned, after a survey of its 1300 members found 84% supportive of the enforcement. 

Business is urgently looking to government to implement public health orders to specify vaccination as a condition of entry or employment to protect them from potential litigation and reputational damage,” chief executive Paul Guerra said. 

NSW on Wednesday recorded 863 locally acquired cases and 15 deaths, nine of whom had received no vaccination dose. 

Meanwhile, Queensland recorded two new active cases of COVID-19 in the community on Wednesday, after four cases were recorded on Tuesday. 

Genomic sequencing showed the cases were linked to NSW and the US, ruling out links from existing Queensland cases. 

The state’s health minister Yvette D’Ath said mask wearing would extend to the Gold Coast, with rules already in force in Brisbane and Moreton Bay.


READ MORE:

Locked down Canberrans brace for more COVID-19 cases

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