Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is hoping to see an end to lockdowns by next year – but his goal requires everyone to be fully vaccinated.
Eager to start 2022 with a “very different set of rules”, Mr Andrews said the plan – not just in Victoria but across Australia – was to ensure everyone who “wants to get two shots gets them by the end of the year”.
One jab of AstraZeneca or Pfizer would not be enough to open up Australia to the rest of the world, he told 3AW on Tuesday morning.
And even if 75 per cent of people have had two doses, the 25 per cent that had not would be equivalent to the population of the state of Victoria not being vaccinated, Mr Andrews said.
“If it (the coronavirus) runs through there and a percentage of people get really unwell, then that’s your hospitals full,” he said.
“This ends by everybody getting two jabs and then we’re able to say we’ve all done our very best to protect everyone who needs to be protected.
“There’ll then still be from time to time masks and things of that nature but not lockdowns.”
His comments came after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation met on Monday to review its advice to Sydneysiders under the age of 40 to talk to a doctor about getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But the advice did not change.
“ATAGI meets each week and has met today,” the group said in a statement.
“It continues to review its advice around AstraZeneca, along with updating materials and advice for health practitioners.”
The expert panel has made two changes on the AstraZeneca vaccine, first recommending it only for Australians aged over 50 after rare blood- clotting disorders were identified among some people who had been vaccinated with it.
In June, that age range was revised up, to people over 60.
In recent days, federal and NSW authorities have said people should weigh up the risk of contracting the Delta strain of the coronavirus with the official vaccine advice.