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NSW promises 'freedom' coming for fully vaccinated

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The New South Wales Government says it will restore freedoms to all fully vaccinated residents once the state hits 70 per cent double-dose coverage, as authorities in Victoria extend lockdown restrictions.

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state could reach 70 per cent single-dose vaccination coverage within days and at double-dose coverage – roughly in mid-October – a number of freedoms will be restored to the fully vaccinated.

“We will stick to our word,” Berejiklian said on Sunday after announcing a record number of 1218 new cases.

“No matter what the case numbers are doing – of course we want to see them come down – double-dose 70 per cent in NSW means freedom for those who are (fully) vaccinated.

“It doesn’t matter where you live or what your circumstances are.”

As of Saturday, 66.04 per cent of eligible NSW residents have had at least one vaccine dose and 35.85 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Victoria recorded 92 new locally-acquired infections on Sunday, including more than 30 not yet linked to existing outbreaks.

The numbers prompted Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to declare the state’s lockdown, which started on August 5, would be extended, but he was unsure for how long.

“We see far too many cases today for us to seriously consider opening up later on this week,” he said.

Meanwhile ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has warned COVID-19 shots won’t end once the territory reaches 80 per cent vaccination rate, saying people may need booster jabs for the rest of their lives.

“All the evidence from the northern hemisphere suggests that the vaccines provide very effective protection but they do need to be boosted,” he said

“I think we can anticipate, if COVID follows the path of other infectious diseases, that it’s with us for the rest of our lives and we will need to have a booster shot every year.”

-with AAP

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