Australians don’t roll up their sleeves for third COVID booster shots

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State and federal authorities are concerned about the number of Australians receiving their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

To date, 71.4 percent of eligible Australians – or just over 14.1 million people – have received a third dose.

But there are still more than 5.6 million to get their booster.

Queensland is the worst performing state, with 64.5 percent of eligible residents getting a boost, while the ACT has the best coverage (79.9 percent).

The booster rate is 55 percent for Indigenous Australians nationally.

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New third doses barely rise every day, ranging from NSW registration 2075 on Friday and the Northern Territory 45.

“The dose rates of the third booster have dropped, and I am very concerned about that,” said Health Secretary Mark Butler.

Information campaigns are underway, but there is a persistent problem with slow adoption by under-65s.

So far, 4.22 million Australians have received a fourth dose, after the program was extended several weeks ago.

National Cabinet

Mr Butler says long-term plans are underway to tackle the pandemic by a national cabinet made up of state and area leaders and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

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Opposition health spokeswoman Anne Ruston told AAP the federal government’s response to the current COVID-19 wave is “worrying.”

“They have ended a series of supports that have helped Australians through the pandemic and have been forced to roll back on the pandemic and abandon the disaster payment,” Senator Ruston said.

“Without explanation and without clear advice or modeling to support their decisions, 70 COVID-related telehealth items, free RATS for concession card holders and retirement homes, and Operation COVID Shield have all come to an end.”

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She said the government should release her health advisories and models.

The national cabinet, which oversees the pandemic response, will meet on August 31.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:

  • NSW: 11,998 cases, 30 deaths, 2187 hospitalized with 57 in ICU
  • Victoria: 6261 cases, 24 deaths, 668 hospitalized with 36 in ICU
  • Tasmania: 651 cases, one death, 23 in hospital and five in ICU.

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