News Coronavirus ‘We need three doses’: Another 20 Victorian lives claimed by ever-changing COVID virus

‘We need three doses’: Another 20 Victorian lives claimed by ever-changing COVID virus

Two shots are no longer enough to guarantee safety as COVID's death toll mounts.
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Victoria’s COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar is urging the double-vaccinated to roll up their sleeves for a third time following the detection of several Omicron sub-variant cases.

“We’re adjusting our thinking that to be complete from a vaccine point of view … we now need to have three doses,” he told journalists on Saturday.

“Unfortunately the COVID pandemic continues to evolve and we need to evolve with it.”

The plea comes as the state added 10,589 new infections to its COVID-19 caseload along with a further 20 virus-related deaths.

Victoria is now managing more than 78,000 active coronavirus cases, with 889 patients in hospital care, 111 of them in ICUs and 35 requiring ventilation.

Health authorities say 6110 infections were self-detected in the 24 hours to Saturday evening via rapid antigen tests. A further 4479 positive results came via PCR lab testing.

‘Get it done now’

Mr Weimar said anyone yet to receive a third immunisation dose was “not as protected” and those due for a booster needed to “get it done now”.

Victorian authorities have detected “literally a handful” of cases of an Omicron sub-variant, dubbed son of Omicron.

“We’re obviously following the international developments on the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron closely,” Mr Weimar said.

“It’s still very early days in understanding exactly how that’s moving around, I’m aware there’s a very small number of cases that have been detected here in Victoria.”

He stressed son of Omicron was not a new variant of COVID-19.

The state government has meanwhile delivered 4.5 million rapid antigen tests to schools with another two million on the way.

Private school students returned to class on Friday and public students begin term on Monday. All staff and students are being encouraged to take a test twice-weekly.

A vaccination blitz targeting children aged five to 11 has begun at 15 Victorian primary schools, with seven state-run vaccine hubs offering walk-up jabs for kids.

Thirty eight per cent of Victorians aged over 18 have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster while 93 per cent of eligible people aged 12 or over are now double dosed.