Young adults in NSW are taking up the COVID vaccine at nearly twice the rate of their peers in other states, according to data from the federal government. More than 11 percent of NSW adults aged 16 to 39 received their first shot in the past week alone, compared to less than 7 percent in Victoria, 5 percent in WA and Tasmania, and 4 percent in Queensland. Most young people in NSW were not eligible for a COVID vaccine for the first five months of the rollout.
This changed in mid-July when the increased risk of COVID infection saw Sydney residents of all ages urged to consider the Astra-Zeneca vaccine. Then in August, NSW granted priority Pfizer access to young adults living in areas hit hardest by the Delta outbreak. The effect has been stark. Vaccine uptake among 16- to 39-year-olds in NSW has outpaced every other age group in every other state throughout August.
About 35 percent of under-40s in NSW received their first shot of a COVID vaccine in August. (The next-strongest uptake was among those aged 40-69 in NSW, at 25 percent, followed by under-40s in the ACT, at 20 percent.) This surge in uptake among young adults means the vaccination gap between the state’s younger and older Australians is rapidly shrinking.
In NSW, at the end of July, people aged 70 and older were nearly five times as likely as adults under 40 to be at least partially protected, while those aged 40-69 were three times as likely. Now, those ratios have roughly halved, giving NSW the second-smallest vaccination gap between younger and older Australians, after the NT.
Australia is now delivering one million doses every 3-4 days, compared with 45 days for the first one million doses, 20 days for the next million doses and 17 days for the third million total doses. At our current pace of845,166second doses a week, Australia is on track to fully vaccinate the eligible population of 20.62 million adults in December 2021. So far, 20,329,483 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered across the country.
The program has picked up pace since local outbreaks in multiple states plunged millions into lockdown.
Australia will move to the next phase of opening up when 70 percent of the eligible population have had two doses of vaccine. The Prime Minister said he believed that target could be reached before the end of the year “but that is entirely up to how the nation responds to this challenge”. The third phase will come into force when 80 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. There is no target date for that. Tasmania and the ACT are leading the way, with more than 40 percent of residents fully vaccinated. While the least-populated jurisdictions have been in front for most of the year, vaccination uptake in NSW has surged since an outbreak of the Delta strain plunged Greater Sydney and then multiple states and regional areas into lockdown.
Since June 26, when Greater Sydney and its surrounds went into lockdown, state-wide daily doses have quadrupled from roughly 31,000 to 120,000, based on the seven-day moving average. More than two-thirds of NSW residents are now protected with at least one dose of vaccine, including one-third who are fully vaccinated.
Two-thirds of aged care and disability care residents and workers have had one dose of vaccine and nearly half are fully vaccinated. In February, the government estimated that the rollout to aged and disability care facilities would take roughly six weeks. Counting from the campaign’s official launch on February 22, this means the sector should have been completed by April 4. As of August 20, 86 percent of aged care residents and 67 percent of NDIS participants in residential accommodation have had at least one dose of vaccine. This includes 80 percent of aged care residents and 51 percent of disability accommodation residents who are fully vaccinated. Among staff, 68 percent of aged care workers and 54 percent of disability support workers are protected with at least one dose. This includes 42 percent of aged care workers and 35 percent of disability workers who are fully vaccinated.
The figures for aged care workers are based on reports from 98.3 percent of facilities, while figures for disability workers are for NDIS-screened workers only. National Cabinet has mandated that all aged care workers must have had at least one dose of vaccine by September 17. On August 20, NSW mandated that childcare and disability support workers who live or work in a council “of concern” must have received their first vaccination dose by August 30.
Elsewhere in Australia, vaccination is strongly recommended but not mandatory for disability support workers.
Courtesy of ABC News.com