Australia has hit a major Covid-19 vaccine milestone and is now dishing out jabs faster than America and the United Kingdom.
Australia has hit a major Covid vaccine milestone, with now more than half the eligible population fully vaccinated.
Official federal government figures show 50.1 per cent of Australians aged over 16 have received both doses, following a record week of vaccinations across the country.
Australia has now passed 26 million vaccinations, with the country last week vaccinating at a faster per capita rate than France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, UK and the US, recording 2.076 million jabs.
The country recorded its highest every daily total in the past 24 hours, after 347,000 people turned up for a shot.
“More than two million doses have now been delivered in the last seven days, that’s another major milestone achieved as the vaccination program continue to ramp up,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“We know that as the vaccination program hits these marks, it just gets us closer and closer to being able to open up to more parts of the country and seeing the economic recovery follow soon after.”
Australia has lagged behind other countries when it comes to its vaccine rollout, with supply shortages and federal mismanagement blamed for the delays.
The federal government revealed in July its roadmap for navigating the pandemic moving forward, which will include allowing Australians to travel overseas again without restrictions when 80 per cent of the nation’s eligible population has been fully vaccinated.
As part of the target, highly targeted lockdowns will occur but all vaccinated residents will be exempt from domestic restrictions among other freedoms.
Most states are on track to reaching 80 per cent vaccination targets, but there continues to be a stubbornness behind opening domestic borders.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said he hoped people would be able to return home for Christmas, but the issue of borders was up to state Premiers.
“It will be up to some of the Premiers, but it’s a contract and a partnership with the people,” he said.
“I think Australia will get well beyond the 80 per cent mark. Certainly, in New South Wales, the ACT and Victoria. But I also have hopes in other states and territories
“We’re ahead of schedule, and I hope that that means that everybody will be able to get home for Christmas.”
Despite record vaccinations this week, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed the state was being forced to stockpile its Pfizer vaccines due to low supply, which could delay the state’s plan out of lockdown.
There is also concern allocations of Pfizer will fall from 10.9 million in September to 8.4 million in October.
It comes as both NSW and Victoria push to reaching 70 per cent and 80 per cent targets in a bid to reopen their virus-ridden states.
Mr Hunt said the country was continuing to receive mRNA vaccines.
“People will be at different stages on their own journey and I acknowledge that, but there will be enough doses int he country by the end of October,” Mr Hunt said.
“It will ensure that everyone in Australia can have double doses.”
Originally published as More than half of Australians are now vaccinated against Covid-19