Australia

NSW, Victoria vaccination surge could end restrictions ahead of schedule

More COVID-19 restrictions are set to ease in NSW from Monday, while a massive surge of vaccinations could bring a close to Victorian lockdowns a week early.

An early leak of NSW vaccination rates on Tuesday showed 75.23 per cent of residents over 16 have had both doses, meaning the state will hit its 80 per cent target over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Victorians are projected to reach their states 70 per cent fully-vaccinated marker on October 23 – days ahead of the “indicative” reopening date of October 26 on the state government’s roadmap.

More social and recreational activities are scheduled to reopen across Victoria at that point.

In NSW, figures show a 1.26 per cent daily increase in vaccinations, meaning rules to allow crowds back in stadiums and nightclubs could change as soon as October 18.

If the target is not hit by Monday, the changes will come on the following Monday, October 25.

It comes after new NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he was unlikely to make any changes to the state’s plan to reopen further at an 80 per cent fully-vaccinated milestone.

On Tuesday, NSW had just 360 new COVID-19 cases; down from 496 on Monday.

In Victoria, the COVID Live website projects the state will reach 70 per cent fully-vaccinated on October 23.

The data analyst who runs the website, Anthony Macali, told Melbourne radio 3AW the original October 26 date could come forward as a result.

The state is expected to hit its 80 per cent vaccination target on November 3. Currently, Victoria is at 59.3 per cent of fully vaccinated adults.

NSW Vic vCOVID-19
Daniel Andrews says Victoria being on track to beat vaccine targets is a “fantastic problem” to have. Photo: AAP

“The second dose rate has been increasing, so the days have come in a little bit,” Mr Macail said.

“If the rate keeps increasing as it is now we could get close to 60,000, maybe 65,000-second doses a day.

“That might bring in the dates by about two or three days.”

Premier Dan Andrews said on Tuesday it would be a “fantastic problem” if Victoria reached its 70 per cent target sooner than predicted.

“We want to get to 70 as fast as we can, so anyone who has a second appointment booked outside of October 26, if it could be brought forward, I would encourage them to,” Mr Andrews said.

“If we get there earlier, what a fantastic problem and challenge for us to deal with.

Victoria reported another 1612 COVID cases on Tuesday, the lowest number in nearly a week.

But Mr Andrews said while the trend was positive, Victorians should not get carried away and think that the “danger that the cases present to our health system and to individuals and families is somehow over.”



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