Australia : Sydney starts emergency vaccination in high risk suburbs
Australian authorities began doling out emergency COVID-19 vaccine supplies on Thursday in the Sydney suburbs worst hit by an outbreak of the fast-moving Delta strain, as New South Wales state reported another record rise in daily cases.
State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ramp-up in inoculations in Australia’s biggest city was providing some hope as the city battles its worst outbreak since the coronavirus pandemic began. Berejiklian reported 681 new locally acquired cases on Thursday, most of them in Sydney, exceeding the previous daily high of 633 set on Wednesday. One new death was recorded.
Most suburbs in northern Sydney have 70-79 per cent of their population receiving one vaccine while most western suburbs have anywhere from 40-49 per cent or 50-59 per cent of their residents with one dose.
More than 273,000 residents in Australia came forward for a vaccine on Wednesday with long queues across vaccination hubs in New South Wales. Close to 1.5 million people recevied one dose in the past week.
NSW health authorities want all children between 12 – 15 vaccinated immediately given the deteriorating situation in the state but approval is still yet to come from the national immunisation body, which says it could take months. Fiona Russell, a paediatrician specialising in epidemiology and vaccination at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, said a majority of 12- to 15-year-olds must be vaccinated by the start of 2022.
Pfizer says it expects data from its trials in children aged two to 11 to be handed down in September. Moderna has not started its trials for young children but has named Australia as a potential location for trialling its vaccine among those aged 6 months to 12 years.