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Millions now eligible for booster as nation passes grim milestone


Australia has passed the grim milestone of more than 500,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

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The mark was passed on Tuesday after both NSW and Victoria registered record daily case numbers.

NSW had 23,131 new cases, with a further two deaths.

The state has 1344 patients in hospital, up by 139 from the day before, with 105 in intensive care, up by 10.

There were 14,020 cases in Victoria, the first time the state has recorded a one-day total of above 10,000.

There were another two deaths in the state, with 516 patients in hospital – a rise of 25 – while there are four more patients in intensive care, taking the total to 108.

Millions more Australians are now eligible for their booster shot with the timeframe between second and third doses reducing to four months from today.

Around 7.5 million Australians will be eligible from Tuesday, up from around 4.1 million at the end of 2021.

The federal government announced changes to the timeframe on Christmas Eve, with the reductions coming in two stages.

Boosters will be brought forward to four months after the second dose, down from five months, on January 4.

Then from January 31, people can get boosters after three months.

This means around 16 million people will be eligible for their third shot at the end of the month.


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