National News

Concern over low third vaccine dose rates


State and federal authorities are concerned the number of Australians getting their third dose of COVID-19 vaccine is flatlining.

To date, 71.4 per cent of eligible Australians - or just over 14.1 million people - have received a third dose.

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

Queensland is the worst-performing state, with 64.5 per cent of eligible residents boosted, while the ACT has the best coverage (79.9 per cent).

The booster rate is 55 per cent for Indigenous Australians nationally.

New third doses are barely rising each day, ranging from NSW recording 2075 on Friday and the Northern Territory 45.

"Third booster dose rates have flatlined, which is something I'm very concerned about," Health Minister Mark Butler says.

Information campaigns are being rolled out but there is a persistent problem with the slow rate of uptake by under-65s.

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

Mr Butler says long-term plans to deal with the pandemic are being worked on by national cabinet comprising state and territory leaders and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

Opposition health spokeswoman Anne Ruston has told AAP the federal government's response to the current COVID-19 wave is "worrying".

"They have ended a range of supports that have helped Australians through the pandemic and have been forced to backflip on the pandemic leave disaster payment," Senator Ruston said.

"With no explanation and no apparent advice or modelling to support their decisions, 70 COVID-related telehealth items, free RATS for concession card holders and aged care homes, and Operation COVID Shield have all ended."

She said the government should release its health advice and modelling.

National cabinet, which is overseeing the pandemic response, is due to next meet on August 31.


NSW: 11,998 cases, 30 deaths, 2187 in hospital with 57 in ICU

Victoria: 6261 cases, 24 deaths, 668 in hospital with 36 in ICU

Tasmania: 651 cases, one death, 23 in hospital with five in ICU.

© AAP 2022

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