NSW has administered more than 6 million jabs, reaching the state’s first vaccination target. It had been projected to take until the end of August to reach this level of vaccination – equivalent to 60 per cent of the adult population inoculated with a single dose and 30 per cent fully vaccinated – but significant uptake since additional supplies were made available and restrictions on the AstraZeneca vaccine were relaxed have allowed NSW to hit the 6 million dose target a week ahead of schedule. The premier said that certain restrictions could be relaxed for fully vaccinated people in September, and details of what those freedoms could be would be announced on Thursday, August 26. Leaks to the media in recent days have suggested that gyms and outdoor dining could be among the first activities reinstated.
At the press briefing on August 24, the state’s first vaccine incentive initiative was announced to encourage greater vaccination levels in the hotspot LGAs. Over the weekend of August 28-29, anyone being vaccinated at the Qudos Bank Arena can wear the merch or sports kit of their favourite sporting team, be that rugby union, rugby league, soccer, AFL or any other sport to take and upload a selfie from the vaccination hub. The sporting code that clocks up the most vaccinations will be issuing prizes, which are yet to be detailed.
Due to the relentless spread of the Delta strain, lockdown measures alone are no longer enough to suppress the virus. Vaccination is now the frontline defence we have against outbreaks, and hitting certain vaccination targets has become the urgent objective of state and federal authorities. According to the Doherty Institute modelling recommendations, when 70 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated, lockdown measures will be saved for major outbreaks that lead to significant numbers of hospitalisations and once 80 per cent of adults are double jabbed, lockdown measures will be retired altogether.