AZ doses aplenty, calls grow to get jabbed

The AstraZeneca jab is especially vital in Greater Sydney, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
The AstraZeneca jab is especially vital in Greater Sydney, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

The call to get vaccinated has intensified across the nation with Sydney clocking up another 200-plus day of new coronavirus cases and yet another death recorded, the 14th in this current outbreak.

There were also additional nine COVID-19 cases in Queensland as it entered its three-day snap lockdown in the southeast of the state.

The Greater Sydney area and other parts of regional NSW are in lockdown until at least the end of the month.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says these lockdowns are concerning and come at immense cost to the economy.

"That is why we are striving as hard as we can as we move towards Christmas to get as many inoculations done," he told Sky News' Sunday Agenda program.

On Friday, the national cabinet gave in-principle approval to a full vaccination plan of 70 per cent that would see border restrictions ease and city-wide lockdowns become unlikely, although no deadline was agreed.

When 80 per cent of the population is vaccinated it will be time to open international borders to equally protected nations.

The nation's vaccine co-ordinator said there were more than a million and half doses of AstraZeneca ready for use and being shipped out as orders come in.

"We are saying every Australian who wants access to a first dose will have that opportunity this year," Lieutenant General John Frewen told Sky News.

"I think with the supply that is coming on, we have got a really fantastic chance to get the vast amount of Australians fully vaccinated this year if they choose to do so."

Only around 19 per cent of Australians have been fully vaccinated so far.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said to get to the 70 per cent target in her state, there needs to be 9.2 million jabs and to 80 per cent, 10 million.

"We know that vaccination is working against this terrible Delta strain, we know it is effective, we know it is keeping people out of hospital," she told reporters.

"It is also reducing the chance of people spreading it to every member of their household. Can I please urge everybody to come forward and get vaccinated."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been criticised for his handling of the vaccine rollout but Mr Joyce won't have a bar of it.

"What he should have done is a very interesting discussion but what he should do next is vastly more important and that is where we are focusing on is how we deal with this right now," he said.

Victoria, which left lockdown last week, recorded four new locally acquired cases but were all linked to the state's current outbreaks and all were in quarantine throughout their infectious period.

Chief health officer Brett Sutton says Victoria is well placed to hit 70 and 80 per cent COVID-19 vaccination coverage.

"The best vaccine is the one that's available for you now if you're eligible," Prof Sutton said.

Australian Associated Press