NSW residents have come out in droves to queue for the vaccine as Australia tries to rid itself of the worst vaccinated country in the OECD title.
Sydneysiders have flocked to a vaccination hub in a mammoth effort to do their bit in making the city’s current coronavirus lockdown its last.
Locals were pictured outside the vaccination hub at Sydney’s Olympic Park Tuesday morning, hours after Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave clearance for people under 60 to get the jab.
The incredible scenes at the Western Sydney venue came as a clear sign Sydney locals were eager to play their part in stamping out future outbreaks of Covid-19.
NSW recorded 19 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday as it neared the middle of the first of its two weeks of lockdown.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday revealed NSW would need to have at least 10 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in order to avoid future lockdowns.
She said expert advice showed between 75 to 80 per cent of the population needed to be vaccinated before anyone could “start having conversations about what Covid normal looks like”.
It came as three Aussie capital cities are in lockdown, including NSW’s Greater Sydney area, Northern Territory’s Greater Darwin region and Western Australia’s Perth and Peel regions.
A raft of restrictions are also in place across South Australia, while Queensland was plunged into a snap three-day lockdown beginning at 6pm Tuesday (local time).
Mr Morrison said those willing to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine should discuss the decision with their GP and proceed at their own risk.
“This relates to encouraging Australians to go and chat to their GP about their vaccination, and to have their vaccination administered,” he said on Tuesday.
He said while new advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) alluded to the AstraZeneca vaccine being preferred for people over 60, it “does not preclude persons under 60” from getting it.
“So if you wish to get the AstraZeneca vaccine then we would encourage you to go and have that discussion with your GP, and we’ve already made announcements to support those additional consultations with the GPS so you can have that conversation,” he said.
The vaccine was recommended initially only for people above 40, and later just for people over 60.
The announcement came as welcome news to those desperate to be vaccinated, with health authorities continuing to label vaccines the long-term effective way out of the pandemic.